Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has called upon the federal administration for support to combat an unprecedented crime wave. She said that it was her primary priority to keep residents safe and said that crime levels were the worst in 3 decades.
Lori Lightfoot stressed that it was her everyday concern and has urged all citizens involved to take strong measures. She says that residents should not have to endure present levels of violence.
The Mayor has also asked for more federal agents to go after the illegal supply of weapons in Chicago. She wants additional federal prosecutors to pursue cases.
Lori Lightfoot has also advised courts to detain people facing charges of violent crimes before their trials. This proposal was strongly opposed by civil rights groups.
Sharon Mitchell, a public defender in Cook County said that such a measure will only lead to a rush in jails even as the pandemic rages all around. she also called the measure regressive as it would involve detaining thousands even before they have been convicted.
Lori Lightfoot had stressed police reforms after several scandals plagued the preceding administration. But her critics say that she has done too little to change the police department of the city.
Lori Lightfoot Faced The Ire Of Civil Rights Activists For Police Brutality
Civil rights advocates point to the brutal repression of protests by the Chicago police and segregation of wealthy areas by building drawbridges around them.
But Lori Lightfoot has also faced charges of being soft-handed and not being aggressive enough in her use of the police force in suppressing crime.
Fatal crimes are at an all-time high with 1,009 murders in Cook County alone by early December. It is a jump of close to 50% over 2019 numbers and is close to all-time highs seen during the 90s.
Experts contend that people facing the worst effects of the economic crisis brought about by the pandemic are the most affected by the spike in crime rates. Other major cities across America are struggling with a spurt in violent crimes aggravated by a combination of public health and economic crisis.