Chicago suffered a massive spike in both gun incidents and murders throughout July as protests and riots swept the city, according to police statistics.
The Chicago Police Department counted 105 murders in July alone, a 139 percent increase over July 2019, which saw 44 murders. Police counted 406 shooting incidents, a 75 percent rise compared to July 2019’s total of 232.
The unprecedented violence has left police scrambling for a response even as Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot squabbles with President Donald Trump over whether federal agents are needed to help the city.
Chicago saw a 75% increase in shooting incidents and 139% increase in murders for July 2020 compared to the same month a year ago, according to police data. https://t.co/zhhWvLzMeH
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) August 1, 2020
The city’s murders are up 51 percent when comparing the January-July periods from 2020 and 2019, and shootings have jumped 47 percent for the same period.
Police announced a new task force aimed at cutting back on the violence, the Sun-Times reported. (RELATED: ‘Right Back At You, Clown’: Chicago Mayor Critical Of Her Embattled Police Force)
“As we continue moving more officers into the districts and closer to our communities, we have also been focused on creating teams that can address violent crime head-on within our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” CPD Supt. David Brown said in a statement. “Our officers will engage directly with residents. We will hear their concerns, and continue to work in partnership with them as part of an all-hands-on-deck effort to curb the violence in our communities.”
Lightfoot has repeatedly insisted that no federal assistance is needed in Chicago, but Trump still ordered roughly 200 federal agents to the city in mid-July. (RELATED: Demonstrators Swarm Chicago Mayor’s Home After Phone Call With Trump)
Lightfoot suggested Trump’s focus on cities like Chicago and Seattle was driven by sexism and not by the unchecked rioting in the cities.
“The president has been on a campaign now for some time against Democratic mayors across the country,” Lightfoot said. “Whether it’s me, whether it’s Keisha Lance Bottoms in Atlanta, whether it’s Muriel Bowser in Washington, D.C., whether it’s Jenny Durkan in Seattle – do you see a common theme here?” (RELATED: Chicago Mayor Cites COVID-19 For City’s Escalating Murder Rate)
Lightfoot released a statement soon after Trump announced he was sending the agents, saying she had spoken to Trump about the plan on the phone. Her conversation with Trump led a number of protesters to demonstrate outside of her house.