Lightfoot Says Chicago ‘Can't Arrest Our Way' Out of Surge in Gun Violence

The mayor called for expanded investments in a variety of programs to help combat gun violence in the city

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While Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says more federal cooperation will be required to tackle the problem of gun violence in the city, she also emphasized that other investments will be key, saying that the city “can’t arrest its way” out of the issue.

Lightfoot, speaking during a press availability on Thursday afternoon, said that city officials are exploring different ways to invest in communities, and said that Chicago will focus on the city’s West Side, which has been ravaged by gun violence.

“It’s obvious: we cannot arrest our way out of this problem,” she said. “Fundamentally, if you look at the West Side and you look at the problems, the opioid addiction that is really harming so many individuals, families and communities, the investments we have to make in human capital and the investments we have to make in infrastructure, those are why I spend so much time on the West Side.”

Lightfoot’s comments come as the city saw three mass shootings on Wednesday alone. One teen was killed in North Lawndale, and at least 17 other people were injured in the three attacks, which occurred within a six-hour span of one another.

In all, nearly 30 people were shot on Wednesday alone, according to Chicago police.

Lightfoot says that focusing on issues like gun trafficking will be key, but continued investment in anti-violence programs and other initiatives designed to improve economic conditions in communities throughout the city will be equally as important, especially on the west side.

“I really do believe that as goes the west side, so goes the rest of the city of Chicago,” she said. “If we can get it right here, with the mix of resources and investments and capacity building in neighborhoods, empowering residents to be able to hold the territory under their feet, with our help and our support not just in the short-term but in the long-term, that’s really what the investments have to be about, and I’m totally committed to that.”

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