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Outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot Develops Selective Amnesia About Chicago’s Violent Crime Problem Under Her Failed Administration

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Next month, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will no longer have a city office. Judging by her advice to other Democratic mayors on the current crime wave afflicting America’s largest cities, she’s already living in a different galaxy far, far away.

Mayor Lightfoot’s tenure has seen among the worst criminal and gang violence in memory, including waves of illegal firearm misuse and countless shooting tragedies. During her run as the city’s top official, she cast blame on others, derided law enforcement leaders and even proposed cutting police funding by $80 million, before demanding federal law enforcement assistance. As a clear rebuke of that failed leadership, Mayor Lightfoot will no longer be mayor next month – voters overwhelmingly rejected her bid for reelection.

Her abysmal time as the city’s leader didn’t seem to preclude the mayor from joining a few colleagues in Washington, D.C., to discuss crime, a topic on which they have questionable records.

Selective Amnesia

Mayor Lightfoot flew halfway across the country to participate in the African American Mayors Association Conference in Washington, D.C., for a “fireside chat.” Joining her on stage were Los Angeles Mayor Barbara Lee, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

During the conversation, Mayor Lightfoot said something that likely caused jaws to drop 700 miles back home in the Second City. “As Democrats, if we do not speak the truth about violent crime in our cities, we will be the worse for it,” Lightfoot told conference attendees.

Mayor Lightfoot, of course, has gone out of her way to speak anything but the truth when it comes to Chicago’s violent crime surge.

She infamously cursed at Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez when he dared criticize her for inaction on crime. On a conference call, Alderman Lopez worried about spreading crime into his neighborhoods and demanded answers about the mayor’s crime solution. “I want answers,” he stated.

“You’re a hundred percent, I think you’re one-hundred percent full of sh*t is what I think. If you think that we’re not ready and will stand by and let the neighborhood go up…there is nothing intelligent I can say to you,” the mayor shot back.

It wasn’t just that 2020 phone call. It’s a pattern with the mayor. That same year, Chicago leadership predicted Memorial Day violence with crime and gang activity. The mayor assembled gun control groups and the Chicago Police Department to double efforts to curb gun crimes ahead of the long holiday weekend. The result? The deadliest holiday weekend in five years. Mayor Lightfoot passed the buck, dodged blame and announced, “Whatever the plan was, it didn’t work.”

The next year, Mayor Lightfoot got in a public back-and-forth with Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx when several gang members were let off the hook and not charged for a criminal shooting in broad daylight, despite video evidence. More blame-casting and deflection of the truth, all while Chicago residents witnessed more murders in their city under Mayor Lightfoot since the 1996.

Mayor Lightfoot, having already been overwhelmingly rejected by Chicago voters because of the city’s rampant crime problem, should keep her comments to herself and go quietly.

Los Angeles Lunacy

Mayor Lightfoot wasn’t alone on stage. The other mayoral participants should have some self-awareness too when it comes to crime in their cities and speaking truth to it.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass knows about crime. Her house was burglarized and it was revealed that two firearms were stolen from the home. A mayoral candidate at the time, Bass had said she didn’t know how they were stolen because they were “safely and securely stored” at the time. No other items were taken.

Los Angelenos have suffered through enough of the city’s crime plague but still must live with George  Soros-backed District Attorney George Gascon, who repeatedly lies about the severity of criminal threats in the city. His soft-on-crime policies repeatedly make news for putting more citizens in danger of violent criminals.

If one clear example was needed to demonstrate how “speaking the truth about violent crime” were needed, Los Angeles citizens were told by press release to “cooperate and comply” if they found themselves as the victim in a crime.

New York, New York

New York City Mayor Eric Adams was elected on a message of getting tough on criminals and even telling voters he’d forego armed security and instead carry his own firearm.

He’s failed in those regards and New York City residents still place the fear of violent crime at the top of their concerns. Instead of getting tough on crime, Mayor Adams has instead parroted Michael Bloomberg gun control talking points. At a “major” press event on crime, instead of announcing more police on the streets or efforts to get tough on criminals, the mayor told residents the crime situation in the city was dire.

“We should be very afraid. I’m very concerned,” the mayor said about the prospect of law-abiding New Yorkers carrying firearms for their own protection, never mind the criminals who already break the law and do so.

According to the New York Post, more than 70 percent of New Yorkers voiced their fear of becoming a victim of violent crime.

The mayors on stage talking about crime in their cities need to look in the mirror and listen to their bosses – the voters of their cities. Their soft-on-crime, gun control approaches that restrict rights of law-abiding citizens don’t make their cities safer. That’s not speaking the truth on violent crime. It’s ignoring it.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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