City 'could have a mess on our hands' if police don't use every tool against violence: Lightfoot

Posted2/12/2020 5:57 PM

Chicago "could have a mess on our hands that eclipses some of the worst years of violence" the city has seen, unless police get proactive and use all the tools available to them, Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Wednesday.

After a weekend of violence -- including nine homicides -- that was the worst in February in 18 years, Lightfoot summoned interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck and 41 CPD commanders under his control to essentially read them the riot act.


"This weekend's crime numbers, where we saw so many homicides and we saw a lot of shootings, were incredibly distressing to me," Lightfoot said.

"I'm not going to shy away from that and I had a lot of very difficult conversations with CPD leadership over the weekend, Monday and yesterday."

In those conversations with police leadership, "I challenged them that they have to be proactive. We brought in every single district commander to our weekly meetings that we don't normally see. I was very clear with them that if they do not act in a proactive way to use the tools that are available to them, including community partners, we are going to have a mess on our hands that eclipses some of the worst years of violence that we've seen in recent memory.

"I'm not about to let that happen."

Lightfoot said she believes the message was delivered and that police commanders understood "the challenge before them -- but also the opportunity that's there."

She's confident "they will rise to the occasion, because they have to."

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