During a January 7 interview on NPR, Chicago Police Board Chairwoman Lori Lightfoot said Chicago cannot end the city’s violence alone — they need federal help.
Chicago’s Lightfoot “also chairs Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Police Accountability Task Force.”
According to NPR, Lightfoot said:
We need to have more federal gun prosecutions in Chicago. Our federal partners from the U.S. attorney’s office, the ATF, the FBI need to be much more invested in this overall strategy. Chicago Police Department cannot tackle this issue by itself.
Lighfoot’s statement came less than a week after President-elect Donald Trump tweeted:
Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2017
Think about it — Chicago saw over 4,300 shootings for the year and nearly 800 murders, yet the left greeted Trump’s tweet with disdain. That disdain was epitomized by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, who used a CNN op-ed to claim:
As with many of the President-elect’s tweets, we are forced to speculate as to the content of that federal “help,” but certainly Trump’s campaign rhetoric gives us plenty of evidence to understand his approach to criminal justice policy and more broadly, his views of people of color. Thus far, he has proposed a crackdown on communities that have suffered gravely from violence as well as a crisis of confidence in policing. This tough-on-crime strategy is fueled by Trump’s own ignorance of the communities most impacted by violence and his inability to account for the political and social causes that create violence.
Maybe Van Cleve should have consulted Lightfoot before belittling Trump’s offer of federal help. Had she done so, she would have seen that Lightfoot also mentioned the problems resulting from a lack of confidence in policing. But Lightfoot suggested these problems cannot be used as an excuse to continue down a path which obviously isn’t working:
In our history in this country, the police have been used as a bludgeon against communities of color, particularly black folks in the segregated South and frankly in the North in enforcing Jim Crow laws. We know that history, so this is not an easy and delicate topic. But it’s one that we have to dive in, we have to embrace because I said before I’m 100 percent convinced that if we don’t take steps in each other’s direction to try to address this strained and fractured relationship, those communities that are most in need, those people that are most desperate for quality and effective policing, they’re going to be further victimized by the failure in that relationship.
A quick aside — If Lightfoot and Van Cleve really want to be honest about the past, they should be sure to point out that Democrats were the authors of Jim Crow and the authors of southern segregation. These things, along with gun control, were part of the Democrats’ plan for communities of color.