Chicago Violence

Lightfoot to Detail Fourth of July Weekend Safety Plan as Chicago Grapples With Spike in Violence

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown revealed earlier in the week that the city would put an additional 1,200 officers on the streets from Thursday through Sunday

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Note: Lightfoot's news conference can be watched live in the video player above beginning at around 1 p.m. CST.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected Thursday to detail Chicago's safety plan ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend as the city continues to grapple with a spike in gun violence.

Lightfoot is scheduled to announce public safety efforts at a news conference beginning at around 1 p.m. at Ogden Park. She will be joined by Chicago departments, agencies and street outreach partners, her public schedule says.

This plan comes after the city saw two consecutive weekends of increased gun violence in which at least 170 people shot. Gun violence over the most recent weekend left 16 people dead, including two young children, and 50 others wounded, according to police.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday was asked why the city is seeing a spike in gun violence that recently took the lives of several young children. Lightfoot pointed to the perfect storm of the coronavirus pandemic, poverty and a surplus of guns. NBC 5's Michelle Relerford reports.

Father's Day Weekend saw at least 104 people shot, 14 fatally, over the course of the most violent weekend in Chicago in years.

On Monday, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said extra officers will hit the streets for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. An additional 1,200 Chicago police officers will be added beginning Thursday and through Sunday, Brown said, calling the department's holiday weekend strategy "a full court press."

"Our endgame is arrests," Brown said, noting officers will focus on street corners that he said fuel the city's open-air drug market and create "the pipeline for shootings and murders in Chicago."

Brown called on the criminal justice system for help to keep violent offenders arrested by police in jail through Sunday.

"When we clear a corner, we're pleading to the court system: keep them in jail through the weekend," he said.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown addresses the violent weekend in Chicago that left two children dead. Kye Martin reports as police want the community's help to stop the devastating trend.

The increase in officers for the holiday weekend comes amid nationwide calls to defund police. Lightfoot on Monday again said she doesn't believe a majority of those calls want complete removal of police, but acknowledged "we need to make more better strategic investments to support healthy communities."

"In a time when we're seeing record levels of shootings and homicides across our city, it's a little daunting to be thinking about just slashing police budgets, because the reality of that is cutting personnel," Lightfoot said. "And given that we haven't historically done what we need to around diversity, if we literally did that, that would mean cutting the most junior, the most well-trained and the most diverse members of the police department."

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