Lightfoot’s Solution to Rising Murder Rate: Throw Money at It
Employing the tired old political tactics of the Left will only serve to further sink Chicago.
Chicago has long had a gang problem, the manifestation of which is sky-high shootings and homicides. It’s why the city is commonly known as the murder capital of the U.S. A recent report by the CDC and the Chicago police revealed that children in Chicago are more likely to die from being shot than from COVID. In fact, this year alone, more children have died in that city from gang violence than the cumulative number of children who have died of COVID across the entire U.S.
Suffice it to say, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in deep trouble as the murder rate continues to soar. In her budget for 2022, the mayor revealed that she would be refunding the police and heavily investing in communities and programs to help make a dent in the elevated crime rate. She proposes a $16 billion spending package, $1.9 billion of which will go toward funding law enforcement. This move to bolster the Chicago Police Department financially was partly spurred by the foul murder of Officer Ella French. But the violence only continued, and the need for Lightfoot to appear to be doing something in the face of the shootings became more urgent, especially over Labor Day weekend, when 47 were shot and two killed. In late September, there was another especially bloody weekend that saw nine homicides across the city. Fifty-six people were shot and an alderman was attacked.
Lightfoot’s budget proposal would also give money to community safety, violence intervention, and youth diversion programs, along with provide assistance to those experiencing gender-based violence. Besides being a typical Democrat “solution” to any sort of problem, throwing money at programs, people, and institutions is really part of a larger effort to eventually implement a universal basic income (UBI).
Back in 2018, a Chicago alderman, Ameya Pawar, wanted to provide 1,000 families with $500 a month. In her budget, Lightfoot would effectively do the same thing, except the number of eligible families would be five times higher. Just exactly how a UBI solves the crime problem isn’t clear. Arguably, it would exacerbate it since it would further support people having children out of wedlock, and fatherlessness is a huge part of why there is such a gang problem — and not just in Chicago.
Lightfoot’s ability to look like she is doing something is further complicated by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. There have been several instances — ranging from the high-profile Jussie Smollett case to the death of a seven-year-old girl by stray gunfire — where Foxx has chosen not to bring charges. This prompted the Chicago Police Department and judges to appeal to higher authorities to get the ball of justice rolling.
The latest case that Foxx has so far failed to prosecute happened over the weekend, during which gang members shot into a residence in the hopes of luring out a rival member. The majority of the confrontation was caught on camera, including on police body cams, and yet Foxx maintains that “evidence was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to approve felony charges.” Despite plenty of video evidence, none of the witnesses involved in the attack were willing to testify, effectively tying the hands of Foxx’s office.
Lightfoot and several aldermen signed a letter asking the State’s Attorney office to reexamine the evidence, even if only minimum charges could be leveled at the offenders at this time. Foxx was very agitated at this pressuring, responding with a rare press conference calling Lightfoot’s request “inappropriate,” especially considering the mayor is a former prosecutor and should know better. But Lightfoot most certainly knows better than to presume that Foxx isn’t eyeing her seat. Blaming each other is politically convenient.
Ultimately, Lightfoot is employing the tired old political tactics of the Left: blaming a scapegoat and throwing money at the problem in the hopes that it will go away, or at least that she’ll appear to be doing something. These tactics only serve to further dig Chicago into the dark hole of mismanagement and crime to which it has sunk.
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