Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the last two Mondays she’s woken up with an “incredible sense of dread” after reading emails, text messages and media reports about the number of Chicagoans shot and killed over the weekend.
On Monday morning, Lightfoot took a moment to express heartache for the latest tally of the dead — including a 10-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy. Both were killed by stray bullets over the weekend.
“And these last two weekends have been some of the deadliest that we’ve seen in our city in a very long time,” Lightfoot said Monday in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago before an unrelated news event. The mayor’s appearance came after another weekend of violence that killed at least 16 people, according to Chicago police.
“It’s bad enough that we’re seeing people shooting, and we’re seeing violence in places that we really haven’t talked about in a number of years. It’s happening all over the city,” the mayor added. “But what causes me the greatest heartache as a mayor, as a mother, and just as a human being is seeing our babies being killed.”
“This can’t be who we are as a city,” the mayor said. “We are burying our future.”
The tragic shooting deaths of two small children come as City Hall girds itself for another possibly violent holiday weekend just days away.
The headlines about Chicago’s gun violence have once again caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who frequently criticizes the city and state leaders here. On Friday, he sent Mayor Lightfoot and Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker a letter about the ongoing violence, criticizing them for putting their own “political interests” ahead of the “lives, safety, and fortunes” of their residents.
Though the mayor responded to the letter on Twitter over the weekend, tweeting, “I don’t need leadership lessons from Donald Trump.”
But she made a point to address him directly on Monday, focusing on what she says have been failures of his administration. She blasted the president for trying to dismantle the Affordable Healthcare Act and suggested he use his time and energy supporting the reenactment of the Voting Rights Act. She implored him to stop “injury and harm to our immigrant and refugee communities,” and to stop “demonizing” members of the LGBTQ community.
Lightfoot also scolded members of the media.
“Please stop being enablers of the president and pretending that this man actually wants to be a partner with cities,” Lighfoot said, suggesting he is specifically targeting female mayors with his “misogynistic and racist rants.”
“The thing you need to remember, Mr. President, we are all tough, women, and we’re not going to take any stuff from anybody,” the mayor added before unleashing one final insult.
“I will always honor the Office of the President, but please do not ask me to honor this occupant because I do not.”