Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been slammed for cheerfully dancing in the streets during a Lunar New Year parade, as violent crime surges and major retailers abandon the Windy City’s main drag.
Lightfoot, who is seeking re-election next month, was captured on video busting moves while surrounded by a drumline at Sunday’s parade.
Her carefree dancing prompted one Chicago news outlet to blast her as “detached from reality.”
“Since @chicagosmayor’s term began, Chicago has suffered 2,278 homicides and over 9,000 shot. Since January 1, the city has endured 41 homicides and 194 shot,” the Chicago Contrarian outlet said in a tweet.
“Yet here Lightfoot is blissfully dancing and asking voters to return her to office,” it added.
Crime rates in the city have skyrocketed by 61% in the first three weeks of 2023, compared to the previous year, according to data from Chicago Police. Authorities received 4,844 crime reports, up from 3,013 in the same period last year.
Two people were killed and 13 others, including a 3-year-old boy, were wounded this weekend in shootings across the city, ABC7 reported. Last weekend, seven people were killed and at least 23 others were wounded in a similar manner.
Meanwhile, 13 robberies were carried out over two hours on the city’s South and West sides Saturday night into early Sunday, NBC Chicago reported. In each incident, one or more people riding in a vehicle drove up to the victims.
Lightfoot has also faced backlash for suggesting during a mayoral debate earlier this month that street vendors rely on other payments besides cash to prevent robberies.
“To combat crime in Chicago, Mayor @LoriLightfoot says ‘not use money, if at all possible, (use) other forms of transactions to carry…’ What’s next? Laws demanding ‘cash control’? conservative talk radio host Larry Elder later tweeted.
In addition to a sharp spike in crime, Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” has taken a beating – with several high-profile stores abandoning the iconic strip.
Among the businesses that have closed their doors or announced their departures were Banana Republic, Old Navy, Timberland, Uniqlo, Gap and Macy’s, NBC Chicago reported.
The vacancy rate in the not-so “Magnificent Mile” has reached about 30%, according to Crain’s. Just six years ago, it was reportedly under 5%.
On Sunday, journalist William Kelly posted a video of shuttered businesses on State Street.
“Not even Old Blue Eyes could save this and Chicagoans have @lorilightfoot to thank,” the Citizen Kelly podcaster said on Twitter.
“The policies that really destroyed State Street and honestly, Michigan Avenue, the Magnificent Mile was the one-two punch of the lockdowns, the looting, but also the policies that continue to this day,” Kelly told Steve Doocy on Fox News last week.
“Believe it or not, if someone shoplifting up to $1,000, there are no consequences. So imagine, Steve, how long can you stay in business if somebody is stealing $1,000 from you every single day?” he said.
“In a month, that’s $30,000 in a year, that’s $3 million. You’re not going to be able to stay in business,” Kelly added.
Lightfoot’s critics have also accused her of censoring the media amid the city’s rampant crime.
“She didn’t do anything to stop the looting. She didn’t do anything to stop the shoplifting right up to and including today,” Kelly said on Fox News.
“She revoked my media credential. I filed a federal freedom of press lawsuit against Mayor Lightfoot. The questions that she didn’t want me to ask her at City Hall, I will be asking her under oath,” he said.
“I intend to get these answers, and I intend to cover this mayor’s race, and I intend to expose what really is behind the destruction of our city,” Kelly added.
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