Chicago's soon-to-be-former Mayor Lightfoot ignores shooting during youth riots

AP Photo/Erin Hooley

The Windy City is an easy target when it comes to pointing out progressive failures in policies and policing. Recently the city of Chicago underwent a two day span of what we can call youth riots. Mayor Lightfoot maybe did not have lighthearted remarks on the topic, however she ignored violence committed with a firearm in her recent unpublished release.

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“Twice in the last few days, several large groups of young people have gathered across the city. Many of them were there to have a good time and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. However, some of those young people were involved in reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior. As I have said before, we as a city cannot and will not allow any of our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct. Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home. 

I appreciate the individuals and business people who have reached out to me to express concerns. I have shared those concerns with the acting Superintendent and senior leadership within the Police Department in very candid and productive conversations. 

CPD leadership has assured me that they will make the necessary adjustments to address these teen trends issues as we move into the summer months. 

We have invested millions of dollars to support community-based organizations to partner with youth to co-activate fun, safe spaces all over the City throughout the year. We ask parents to partner with us by making sure that your children’s plans are safe and that they know when to exit a situation before it becomes unsafe.”

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Lightfoot described the individuals involved having engaged in “reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior.” Besides the really big picture, which can be viewed as a complete defecation-show, Lightfoot grossly underscored those reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behaviors. From NBCChicago.com reporting, we get more of the story:

Video taken Saturday night showed a massive presence at the park, along with large groups of people in the area. A similar gathering took place Friday night near 31st Street Beach and eventually came to an end after a teenager was shot.

One witness, who asked not to be identified, said he saw a chaotic scene unfold.

“It’s heartbreaking, kids fighting, chasing each other, some of them got guns,” he said. “It’s really heartbreaking when one of them actually gets hurt, and that’s unfortunate, happened last night.”

Hundreds of teenagers, possibly even thousands, gathered at the beach after seeing flyers posted on social media for a meetup of teens.

“It was a lot of cops here, but they were still outnumbered,” the witness added. “There were so many teenagers that showed up, and they tried to keep the peace and keep them under control.”

The gathering ended after a 14-year-old boy was shot in the thigh just before 9 p.m. The gunshots sent hundreds of teens running and sparked panic across the beach.

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Lightfoot and politicians like her are usually so quick to blame so-called gun violence on other states’ “lax” gun laws, but she was silent on the 14-year-old shooting victim. It’s very difficult to sit there and deflect blame when something this large and out of control occurs in one’s own city. If cities focused on intervention programs and pursued convictions in the criminals that do get caught, they’d find that such two pronged approaches are effective.

A shooting was not the only high profile act that occurred during the riotous “reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior.”

Cellphone video obtained by NBC 5 shows a vehicle, believed to be a Tesla, fully engulfed following the shooting.

“It was a car, they were standing on multiple cars, standing on cars, and one of the cars just kept driving in circles, which I believe that’s the one that caught on fire, they set on fire,” the witness said.

Burning a car? Really? This is something we could expect out of angry/celebrating Patriots or Boston Red Sox fans – just kidding/not kidding. But really, I’m trying to wrap my head around if the burning of the car was reckless or was that disrespectful? Unlawful, for sure.

After that flavor of disrespect, the article stated “Police say a squad car was also damaged, but no officers were injured. Police did arrest one person Friday night, a 17-year-old boy, who has been accused of multiple gun crimes.” It was not immediately reported if the “multiple gun crimes” were linked to the shooting of the 14-year-old, but none-the-less, it sounds like Lightfoot knows how to have a party in her city.

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This whole situation is just sad. Aside from the fact that it’s easy to sit here and point at continued progressive failures, these are lives we’re talking about. The city of Chicago is home to many people. Politicians play their games and continually miss the mark when it comes to responsible governance, and their citizens suffer.

One comment that a witness to the violence made was rather salient and worth repeating:

“What’s its going to take? The community has to step up, parents have to step up, we can’t keep blaming politicians and waiting on them,” the witness said. “It starts with us, its going to take us to save us.”

What is it going to take? Aside from the obvious, that this individual needs to be told that elections have consequences, they’re correct in asserting that the people need to step up and fill in the void where the government cannot.

For all too many years, people in big cities have continued to surrender their liberties and place their trust in their governments. It should be obvious that the policies in cities like New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Newark, etc. are complete failures. Unfortunately, the people and the governments keep on doubling down, rather than enacting real change in their homes.

Brandon Johnson, Chicago mayor-elect, might be proof of this doubling down. Looking at Wikipedia – yes, Wikipedia, I know, get over it – even they describe Johnson as a “progressive,” which might be an understatement. Johnson was quoted in a Fox32Chicago.com piece also discussing the behavior of the “rowdy” kids over the weekend. The piece also mentions that three were shot during the event.

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After three teenagers were shot amidst two rowdy scenes in Chicago over the weekend, Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson said that while the behavior is “unacceptable,” it is also “not constructive to demonize young people who have been starved of opportunities.”

Given that attitude, it’s not likely that Johnson is going to be any tougher on criminal activity than Lightfoot was – although Lightfoot may have changed her tune far too late in her tenure by actively supporting/asking for the police. The unfortunate reality is that the optics of politics seems more important than the actual work of politics with people like Lightfoot. Johnson very-well-may be of the same cloth, especially being branded a progressive. National Review covered some commentary that Lightfoot made when she lost the election to two runoff contenders. They perfectly highlighted the hypocrisy in statements from Lightfoot and her ilk, showing the emphasis on optics rather than reality.

“I’m a black woman in America. Of course,” she replied when asked by a reporter if she had been treated unfairly, according to the New York Post. Lightfoot neglected to mention that Johnson is also black.

What’s going to become of the Windy City under new leadership? No telling 100%. If I had to take a stab at it, I’m sure that newsrooms across the country will continue to receive several releases a day from the Chicago PD, communicating about another violent act, crime, or missing person. We’ll see how “constructive” Johnson will be when he’s mayor, and how he’ll deal with “unacceptable behavior,” like teenagers shooting at each other,

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