CHICAGO - Shootings and killings in Chicago rose by about 80-percent last month, while arrests by police dropped by more than half.
What's going on? That's the question FOX 32’s political editor Mike Flannery asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the president of Chicago’s police union on Wednesday.
Mayor Lightfoot blamed the bloody month of June on a "perfect storm" of frustration with the pandemic shutdown and anger at George Floyd’s killing, heightening tension in violent neighborhoods plagued by open-air drug dealing.
“What these drug enterprises are doing is this. These spots, they can earn $30,000 to $50,000 a day. They're extraordinarily lucrative, which is why they're willing to fight to the death to keep those spots,” Lightfoot said.
They're also extraordinarily successful at surviving police crackdowns, though Police Superintendent David Brown vowed to try again this week.
The Fraternal Order of Police president links last month's huge increase in gun violence and big decline in arrests to officers fearing for their jobs.
“When the top official in this city is blaming the police for everything that's wrong, to hide their inefficiencies and inadequacies, it definitely makes people stop and wonder, ‘what am i doing? Am I going home? Am I going to have a job tomorrow? Am I going to be in jail next week?’" said FOP President John Catanzara.
The mayor said the union's exaggerating such concerns during contract negotiations over tougher discipline rules.
“You’re going to hear a lot of noise from the FOP. That's part of the game. But I’m focused on making sure that we get wins at the bargaining table for the residents of this city,” Lightfoot said.
The police union contract expired three years ago. Officers, forbidden by law to strike, have not had a raise since.