Chicago, Illinois has been rocked by a troubling surge in violent crime in recent months — and Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot is calling on the federal government for assistance.
Her request for help from D.C. comes after she rejected an offer from then-President Donald Trump to send resources to the city during his administration.
“Not just against our residents”
In a statement this week, Lightfoot implored those in the federal government to “do their part to address this scourge of violence” following an uptick in gun violence.
More than 100 people were reportedly shot during the Independence Day weekend, including at least three police officers and 13 children.
“This morning, we woke up to a city that is reeling yet again from another night of violence — this time not just against our residents, but against those who are sworn to protect us,” the mayor said.
Amid widespread riots and looting last summer, however, Lightfoot had a different take on Trump’s offer of help.
At that time, she said the administration’s intervention would lead to a “disaster,” even insisting that one Democratic city official was “full of s***” for expressing his concern about the violent and destructive demonstrations.
“More important than saving peoples’ lives”
Alderman Raymond Lopez subsequently opined that Lightfoot was more concerned with politics than safeguarding the lives and property of those living in the city.
“It’s completely hypocritical from this mayor that didn’t want help from President Trump — whom I was not a fan of — but now needs help from Joe Biden,” Lopez said of the recent development. “Clearly the politics of it was more important than saving peoples’ lives.”
President Joe Biden met with the mayor at O’Hare Airport in Chicago on Wednesday, having previously agreed to send a federal “strike force” to the city in an effort to target gun traffickers.
The president’s anti-crime agenda has largely hinged on his call for stricter gun control measures. For her part, Lightfoot has joined Biden in blaming the city’s violence on firearms coming from other states.
A number of Democratic leaders have similarly cited guns — along with COVID-19 and other factors — as a cause for the current nationwide crime wave, but Americans have given the Biden administration poor marks on the issue and it could easily become a political liability for the president and his party.