Chicago is in the midst of another deadly weekend as 13 people have been fatally shot since Friday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, with one more evening to go before the holiday weekend is through.
At least 67 people have been shot in the Chicago area since Friday night, the newspaper reported. Among the 13 deaths reported were two children killed in separate incidents.
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the back following a shooting shortly before midnight on Saturday night, according to the Sun-Times. That shooting, perpetrated by four male suspects in a crowded area, also killed three others and injured an additional four, including two minors.
A 7-year-old girl was killed in the suburb of Austin when three individuals opened fire in the direction of a holiday party, according to the Sun-Times.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, currently serving her first term, issued a statement in the form of a thread on Twitter.
“Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun,” Lightfoot tweeted on the evening of July 4, followed by five additional tweets calling for self-reflection on the anniversary of America’s independence, additional outreach, and further investments in Chicago’s children, neighborhoods, and schools.
As part of the mayor’s plan to quell violence during the holiday weekend, which Lightfoot said in a press release would be “unlike any other due to the COVID-19 virus,” 1,200 additional police officers were tasked with keeping the city safe.
Lightfoot has resisted calls to outright “defund” the police, but has pushed to reform law enforcement, from investing more in community programs and diversifying the force to having social workers respond to some calls instead of officers, Politico reported.
The mayor also called for investments in “police-community relationships” in her statement on Twitter.
Last weekend, 65 people were shot, 18 of whom died — including four children — the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The city recorded 254 homicides as of June 15, according to the Chicago Tribune — a slight uptick from 238 at that time in 2019 and 243 in 2018.
Chicago pushes back against presidential intervention despite deaths
The two deadly weekends come just after President Donald Trump sent a letter to Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker criticizing their leadership on the issue.
“Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect,” Trump said in the letter, written in response to a Chicago Sun-Times article detailing May 31 as Chicago’s deadliest day in 60 years.
“Unfortunately, you continue to put your own political interests ahead of the lives, safety, and fortunes of your own citizens,” Trump said. “The people of Chicago deserve better.”
Lightfoot rebuked the president in a press conference, NBC reported, attacking Trump on his policies ranging from his handling of the pandemic to the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
“You have utterly failed to lead in this crisis of a lifetime,” Lightfoot said, calling his letter to the Illinois leaders “transparently political.”
Lightfoot also highlighted Trump’s attacks on female Democratic mayors, several of whom have been openly critical of the president in recent weeks over his response to Black Lives Matter protests, and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The thing you need to remember Mr. President, we are all tough women,” Lightfoot said. “We’re not going to take anything from anybody, even if his name begins with Mr. President.”