Lightfoot says gun violence 'trending in the right direction' amid bloodiest year in more than a decade

"If you look at our numbers year over year, month over month, we're actually trending in the right direction," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

Mayor Lightfoot made a startling claim after the Sun-Times reported a huge increase in the number of Chicago children wounded or killed by guns.

Street violence dipped a bit on Memorial Day weekend, but 2021 so far is Chicago’s bloodiest year in more than a decade.


The number of kids under age 15 killed by gunfire has tripled this year, according to the Sun-Times study, with a 21% spike in the total of children shot.

The mayor said she was on the South and West sides last weekend when an astounding 63 people of all ages were shot.

"Many of the people that are being shot are being shot by people who look just like them, similar age. And so this whole of government approach that we're taking to public safety to really focus on those most dangerous areas in our city, the 15 beats or zones, a lot of that work is focused around supporting young people," Lightfoot said.

The mayor campaigned on a promise to reduce the bloodshed and has offered a series of excuses for failing to do so. She has blamed the pandemic, lax gun laws in nearby states, and a dysfunctional criminal justice system, among other things.

On Tuesday, she once again went after the local court system.

"We’ve got to get the criminal courts back open. We've gotta actually have criminal trials. So people are getting their day in court. And the victims feel like they're being heard by the criminal justice system," Lightfoot said.

While some criminal trials have resumed, there is a big backlog left over from the court system shutdown caused by the pandemic.