Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took a premature victory lap on Monday, claiming a reduction in violent crime on the same day that seven people were killed and nine others injured, including a 4-year-old boy.
"We are seeing a downward trajectory, where other cities are continuing to see a climb," Lightfoot said during a press conference.
The former president of the Chicago Police Board-turned-mayor promised to reduce Chicago's bloody streak when she was elected and said June 2021 had been less violent than the previous year.
Her comments come at a time when Chicago crime is still trending up and is on pace to become the city's deadliest year in more than a decade.
Chicago's City Hall website shows murders in 2021 are up 5% over last year and up 29% over 2019.
Despite taking credit for a slight decrease in crime this month, Lightfoot acknowledged the achievement is "cold comfort to a single person who's been shot, a single person who's been killed."
Over the weekend, a video surfaced of two people, a young man and a woman, who were shot after their car was ambushed by three men during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Gyovanni Arzuaga, 24, died while his companion was shot in the neck and taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Video footage of the grisly incident was leaked online.
"The fact that happened in our city, and so many individuals stood around and seemingly were trying to take advantage of this moment that, I believe, started with a car accident, is a horrific statement," Lightfoot said.
Two years ago, Lightfoot fueled her political aspirations by promising police reform. However, the Chicago Police Department, which has had numerous allegations of corruption and cover-ups, looks pretty much the same now under her leadership as it did in the past. Black and Latino people account for nine out of 10 arrests and uses of force by police, marking the same disparities under previous Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago Tribune reported. The percentage of black police officers is just over 20% despite Lightfoot's calls to diversify the police force.
Among the seven people who were killed on Monday was a 19-year-old woman who was sitting in the passenger side of a car when someone stepped out of a gray Infinity G35 and opened fire. She was hit three times — twice on the side of her body and once on her lower back.
Just a few minutes before that incident, a man and woman were shot sitting in their car on the South Side of Chicago when someone fired at them around 9:40 p.m. The 32-year-old man was taken to Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The 35-year-old woman was taken to the same hospital in critical condition.
Two 18-year-olds were also killed after being shot in the head.
In another case, a 67-year-old man was shot and killed in a road-rage incident Monday morning on the city's West Side. The shooter thought the victim had cut him off, so he pulled up next to him, took out a gun, shot him twice, and watched as the victim crashed his car, police said.
Monday's violence follows a deadly weekend where 52 people were shot in the city, seven of them fatally.
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Original Author: Barnini Chakraborty