Over the weekend Chicago experienced a crime spree; sadly, it is recurring every weekend. “At least seven people were killed and 45 others wounded in shootings across Chicago over the weekend, including a man killed during the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Humboldt Park” reported Chicago Sun-Times. One 15-year-old boy was among three injured and a woman was killed in a Friday night shooting in Back of the Yards.
Last Thursday Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared Racism against Black residents is the public health crisis within the city. Is it racism that is pulling the trigger every weekend? In a press conference, Lightfoot said “at almost every single point in our city’s history, sadly, racism has taken a devastating toll on the health and well-being of our residents of color and particularly those who are black.”
Alderman Raymond Lopez responded to Lightfoot’s accusations saying, “I think it’s a foil to avoid having to deal with [gang and other issues], period. Two hundred-plus murders in the city of Chicago, none of them were committed because of racism.” He continued, “I can tell you last week’s gang shooting had nothing to do with racism. The shooting in Englewood Monday morning, four people shot, three others injured, was not about racism.”
On June 17, Lightfoot tweeted, “The State of Health for Blacks in Chicago is a stark reminder of the legacy of unacceptable inequities that continue to plague our city and country to this day.” Lopez, again addressing the root of the problem, said, “Generational gang life isn’t just something that’s encouraged. It’s almost revered in some neighborhoods” said Lopez. “If you really want to get to what is at the heart of a lot of this, it is gangs, and it is the borderline collapse of the family unit in many of our neighborhoods…[Lightfoot] has avoided calling out gangs in our community as a source of violence in our city.”
During the weekend of June 4-6, “five people were killed, and more than 50 others were shot, including an 11-year-old girl, across Chicago” reported the Washington Examiner. Even before this deadly weekend, on June 2nd Lopez tweeted “what the hell is going on tonight, I’m still on scene for the gang shooting in Back of the yards and now 17 rounds fired off in front of Shields Elementary School in Brighton Park. This city needs to get its head out of its ass & get serious about confronting gangs.”
In the early hours of June 12, Lopez tweeted, “in less than 24 hours, a new gang ‘family’ moved onto a block, they immediately opened a fire hydrant after settling in, and just moments ago took to shooting at a passing vehicle. The property owner can expect a call from me tomorrow. I want them gone. Now!”
Soon after, Lopez released a follow-up tweet saying “this shooting has now turned into a homicide. A young woman picked up by her boyfriend for an evening out. They were ‘checked’ for driving on their own block. She is now dead. CHECKED BY GANGS & SHOT DEAD! So many squirm to make excuses for gangs. STOP IT NOW. #CancelGangCulture.”
Residents in Chicago are “giving up” on calling the police, saying Mayor Lightfoot’s law enforcement policies and misguided focus on systemic racism are doing very little, if anything, to stop the mostly gang-related violence.
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