‘This is not normal!’: Chicago leaders seek solutions in fight against gun violence

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO  While Mayor Lightfoot and Police Superintendent Brown talk up their progress fighting crime, other city leaders say they don’t see it and a change in strategy is needed.

Following another bloody weekend in Chicago, including two mass shootings, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for a community-public partnership to deal with the scourge of gun violence.

“Incidents like these are both heartbreaking and frustrating,” Lightfoot said. “We have too many wounded people…wounded physically but also wounded psychologically and traumatized in our city and many of those wounds stem from gun-related violence.”

But as the bullets fly, members of City Council are growing frustrated. 

“As we have seen just in this weekend, 77 shootings and six dead within 72 hours. This is not normal!” said Alderperson Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward).

On Monday, Ald. Coleman called for a 10-year plan to fight violence and she demanded greater resources for her ward.

“I am calling and asking that we look at neighborhoods like Englewood, Chicago Lawn, Gage Park, Back of the Yards and realize that there has been social and economic deprivation,” Coleman said. “The only vaccination that can solve this problem is investment.”

While Coleman sounded off, Alderperson Raymond Lopez urged his colleagues to step up their anti-violence efforts.

“Locally, we can work with problem businesses, slum lords and start addressing these issues locally to try and take the side approach to rooting out gang and drug violence,” Lopez said. “But also collectively, we can start passing ordinances, and laws and resolutions and call for hearings as a body to raise the awareness, so our residents know they’re not fighting this fight alone.”

It’s not just City Council. Exasperated faith and community activists want a renewed sense of urgency.

“This is a war zone,” said Pastor Donovan Price. “While people are downtown at the beach or wherever they are celebrating the city opening up, we’re worrying about ambulance doors opening up.”

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