Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the rise in gun violence the city has been experiencing on the lack of a "federal strategy" to combat the use of guns in crimes on Friday. The comments come as activists and city politicians are pushing to defund the Chicago police.
The Chicago police union head, John Catanzara, blamed the slowdown of police activity on low morale that is a result of Lightfoot's leadership, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"We’re in the midst of fighting the [Fraternal Order of Police]...in a contract negotiation. That’s the context in which he makes his comments. I expect more untethered, unrealistic, and untrue statements from him as we fight this fight because he knows we’re going to bring true accountability to the contract for the very first time. Look, we’re going through a challenging time, there’s no doubt about it," Lightfoot told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.
Chicago Police Department statistics show murders are up 83% compared during the same 28 day period in June over last year, while the number of arrests is down 55%.
"First of all, that number is not correct. We are up on murders and nobody is happy about that. But I think part of it is, we have got to make sure that we do a better job of taking guns out of the hands of criminals. You’ve heard me say this before, we have to have a federal policy on background checks and making sure that dangerous people are not able to go across the border to states like Indiana and get military-grade weapons in quantities and bring them back to the streets and shoot people up," Lightfoot said.
"That’s what’s happening. There’s way too many illegal guns on our streets and we can’t fight that fight alone," she continued. "We got to have to have a federal strategy on this. We’re going to continue to do what we can do. We’re going to continue to make sure that we are flooding these dangerous hot spots with resources to make sure that we keep our communities safe, but we’re fighting a losing battle if we don’t have a federal partnership on restricting access to guns in the hands of dangerous criminals, we've got to have a partnership on that."