Chicago’s new mayor is taking issue with the city’s police department as the city continues to see far more homicides than New York and Los Angeles, as well as major eruptions of other violence.
“One weekend does not make a trend,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday, according to Fox 32. “But we’ve now had a couple weekends where it feels like we are losing the streets.”
The mayor made the comments while in New York to attend the opening of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which is funded by billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “to equip [mayors] with the tools and expertise to effectively lead complex cities.”
Lightfoot’s comments also came off the back of one of the city’s bloodiest weekends so far this year, in which more than 40 people shot, nine of them fatally.
Right before Independence Day, 50 people were shot. And despite the deployment of an extra 1,200 officers in the city, at least 43 people were shot over Memorial Day weekend, seven of them fatally.
More than 1,500 extra Chicago Police officers hit the streets, parks and lakefront for the July 4 holiday, typically one of the most violent weekends of the year.
Police also executed three separate operations in June that resulted in a total of 170 arrests on gun and narcotics charges, the seizure of 38 guns and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs. The most recent effort, called “Operation Independence,” ended right before the holiday with the arrests of 77 people — 34 of whom are convicted felons.
Lightfoot said she is not ready to change police leadership but wants to focus on reducing the bloodshed, saying: “It’s no secret that I’m pushing [Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson] and his leadership team to do better.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.