CHICAGO, IL – As violent crime continues to rise in the Windy City, one of the city Aldermen is begging people to stop shooting each other just one month after publicly stating at a City Council meeting that he wanted fewer police officers in his ward.
Less than a month after being the only alderman to publicly say they'd like to have fewer cops in their ward, Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez is asking people to stop shooting each other in his ward for 48 hours because too many people are being shot.https://t.co/Ev1Z5QXkZR
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) November 16, 2022
In October, Chicago Alderman Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th) stated that he did not want as many police officers patrolling his ward. Now, a month later he issued another public statement that was very different.
This time, he asked his ward’s residents to refrain from shooting and killing each other over a 48 hour time frame because too many people had been injured in a flurry of violence.
According to the data, shootings in Lopez’s ward are at their highest level since 2010, which is as far back as the city’s online database goes. Actually, based off the data, his ward has seen more shooting victims every year since he was elected than any year before he took office.
Unfortunately, even with the data, he is convinced that the answer to his ward’s violence problems is to have fewer police around patrolling the area.
In October, during a budget hearing for the Chicago Police Department (CPD), several other Aldermen asked CPD Superintendent David Brown to assign more officers to the wards in an effort to curb violence.
Chicago shootings: 31 shot, 8 fatally, in weekend violence, police say https://t.co/m5kZ7Vup0u
— Active Shooter Prevention Project, LLC (@aspp_pro) November 16, 2022
One of the Aldermen, Matt O’Shea (19th) asked his peers to raise their hands if they wanted fewer police officers and Lopez’s hand was the only hand that went up in response.
He immediately started to walk out of the hearing as other Aldermen could be heard shouting that they would take the police officers he no longer wanted patrolling his ward. Before heading out the door, Lopez allegedly said:
“Take the white supremacists, too.”
Apparently, he was referring to a decision by Brown to not fire an officer who allegedly has ties to the Proud Boys.
On Monday, November 14th, after two people were killed and a third was injured in two separate shootings in his ward, Lopez called for a “48-hour moratorium” on shootings. He posted this plea via Facebook:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. WE ARE CALLING FOR A 42hrs CEASEFIRE IN OUR COMMUNITIES WHILE THE PEACE KEEPING TEAMS ON THE GROUND WORK THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS FOR A TRUCE.”
He mentioned the day’s shootings and then proceeded to assure his readers that CPD was “on the ground with violence prevention teams.”
According to the Chicago Office of Inspector General, both police districts where the shootings occurred in Lopez’s ward have lost a significant amount of officers since he became an Alderman in May of 2019.
The data shows that the Near West (12th) District has lost 26 percent of its offers since Lopez was sworn in, dropping from 367 officers to 273 as of this writing.
The Ogden (10th) District has 302 cops as of November, which is 13 percent fewer compared to May 2019.
While Aldermen do not have a direct say in how many officers patrol their wards, Lopez said that the recently passed $16 billion city budget does not require “enough accountability” from police and nonprofits to report how they are spending money to ease violence. He added:
“We don’t have an issue with funding, but we do with how it’s working. We have city leadership that’s tone-deaf to the immediate needs of the community. We’re living in the aftermath of bad decisions. This crisis is going to stay with us a long time.”
Chicago shootings: 27 shot, 6 fatally in weekend gun violence across city, police say https://t.co/pPZjR9s9My
— James Bigelow (@JamesBi08016114) November 15, 2022
On Monday, November 14th, the city of Chicago saw a slew of gun-related killings, with five people being murdered and seven others being wounded.
A man was found shot to death Monday afternoon on the Lower West Side and within 45 minutes, another man and woman were fatally shot less than half a mile away. Monday evening, a man was shot and killed on a front porch in North Lawndale on the West Side.
On Monday, a woman also died and a teenage boy was wounded in a shooting in South Shore. A 15-year-old boy was critically wounded in Lawndale and an hour earlier, a 71-year-old man was shot while riding a bicycle.
At least four other people were reportedly shot on Monday in Chicago and over the weekend of November 12th-13th, six people were killed and at least 21 others were wounded by gunfire across the city.
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