Lori Lightfoot Said Chicago’s Crime is Falling. Here’s What the Numbers Say
Mayor Lori Lightfoot at South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago on July 9, 2020. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) berated a journalist who questioned her city’s rising crime rate and claimed that the crime rate is actually falling. Unfortunately, her city’s official crime statistics show a year-on-year increase in violent crime — and a massive spike since she took office two years ago.

What Lori Lightfoot Said About Chicago’s Crime Rate:

Mayor Lightfoot attempted to downplay Chicago’s explosive violent crime rate during a press conference last Friday. “Do you owe an apology to the victims of violent crime, the thousands of unsolved shootings and murders and random stabbings in the downtown, on the South side, on the North side, on the West side? Do you owe these people any apology?” asked Newsmax reporter William Kelly.

“Sir, I ask you to get your facts right,” Lightfoot replied. “Crime is not out of control in our city. In fact, crime is on the decline. All of our major indices show a decline in crime, and our homicides and our shootings year over year are down. That’s a fact, Sir.”

When Kelly tried to ask a follow-up question, Lightfoot responded, “Sir, I was polite and allowed you to spew your rhetoric, which is offensive to me and others, but I’m trying to be polite and professional and answer your question. But if you want to write your own narrative, and irrelevant to what I’m gonna say and what the facts are, then we’ll just move on to the next reporter.”

What the Facts Say About Chicago’s Crime Rate:

Regrettably for her city’s residents, Lightfoot lied about Chicago’s crime rate. Murders, shootings, and criminal sexual assaults in Chicago have risen sharply on Lightfoot’s watch, according to statistics released by the Chicago Police Department.

For instance, Lightfoot claimed that “shootings year over year are down.” In fact, shootings have surged 12% compared to the same time last year — and a whopping 59% compared to this time in 2019.

Murders, too, have increased. Chicago has had 326 murders so far in 2021, compared to 323 during the same period in 2020 and 241 in 2019, a 35% rise. The “[h]omicide rate among [b]lacks is 9 times higher than the homicide rate among non-[b]lacks,” reported the city’s Department of Public Health on June 15.

Criminal sexual assaults, such as rape, are also up 22% since last year.

Chicago’s violent crime explosion tracks almost perfectly with the mayoral tenure of Lori Lightfoot, who took office on May 20, 2019, although the city’s crime rate had been abysmal long before she took office.

How Lori Lightfoot has Responded to Chicago’s Worsening Crime Rate:

Critics say that Mayor Lightfoot’s approach to crime has exacerbated the problem. The Democrat proposed cutting the by $59 million in last October’s budget, in part by leaving hundreds of vacant police jobs unfilled.

More recently, Lightfoot blamed the city’s crime surge on legal gun sales and demanded nationwide gun control legislation. “Cities individually cannot tackle this problem. We just cannot,” said Lightfoot earlier this month. “In Chicago, we’ve done absolutely everything possible, and we need help from the federal government.”

Crime is by far the most pressing issue facing Chicagoans, according to a WGN-TV/Emerson College poll. Meanwhile, Lightfoot has been consumed with such ephemeral causes as refusing to grant interviews to white reporters and writing an email demanding that staffers give her “office time” which many readers have compared to “The Shining.”

Nationally, observers say that rising crime rates in cities led by Democrats may fuel a Republican resurgence during the 2022 midterms. The White House has begun spinning that Republicans defunded the police by voting against President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

The verdict: Mayor Lori Lightfoot told Kelly, “I’m trying to be polite and professional and answer your question.” Unfortunately, she didn’t answer his question truthfully.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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