Chicago’s outgoing mayor Lori Lightfoot appeared to make a pivot on her ultra-progressive stance on violence, urging Democrats to “speak the truth” on surging crime across the country.
But critics say her shift was “too little, too late,” as her successor, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, is set to be sworn into office next month.
Retired Chicago police lieutenant John Garrido accused Lightfoot of refusing to take accountability for the Windy City’s surging crime under her leadership during “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
“Too little, too late,” Garrido told co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy on Sunday. “If you listen to her entire speech there, she doesn’t take any accountability whatsoever. She still blames everything on Kim Foxx and on Judge Evans.”
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“I assume she’s probably jockeying for some type of position, maybe some point, and maybe Biden gets involved and gives her something. I’m not sure exactly what she’s looking for, but she definitely always likes to point the finger at everybody else,” he continued. “It’s always somebody else’s fault. Even when she lost the election, it was somebody else’s fault, not her own, but she created the toxic work environment that we have now that’s causing thousands of officers to leave every year.”
While speaking on a panel at the African American Mayors Association Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Lightfoot called on Democratic mayors to address the growing crime in their cities.
“As Democrats, if we do not speak the truth about violent crime in our cities, we will be the worse for it,” Lightfoot said.
“I come to this conversation as a former federal prosecutor. I come to this as a former defense attorney, I am the sister of a returning resident,” Lightfoot continued. “But I know that there are people in my city that are wreaking havoc every day and need to be off the streets. That’s reality.”
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Ironically, many critics cite the surge in violence under her leadership as a key reason for her ousting.
According to data from the Chicago Police Department, motor vehicle theft has spiked 168%, murders have soared 82%, aggravated battery is up 36%, and theft is up 29% this week in 2023 in comparison to the same week last year.
Meanwhile, the process is underway for the city to select a new superintendent for the police department after Lightfoot’s pick, David Brown, stepped down back in March.
Since Brown’s resignation, Interim Superintendent Eric Carter also announced he would be resigning ahead of Johnson’s swearing in.
While the process will supposedly include more public opinion, Garrido noted the decision is still ultimately up to the mayor.
“This is the first time that we’ve had this type of commission put together,” Garrido said. “It’ll be interesting to see how they come together to come up with somebody. They’re actually going to have town hall meetings and try to include public opinion.”
“At the end of the day, though, the mayor still gets to make their decision if they want to take those selections or not,” he continued. “Back when Rahm Emanuel was in, the police board actually made the recommendations, and he discarded it, made them go back to the drawing board until they picked the one that he wanted.”
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Johnson narrowly won against his moderate opponent, Democrat Paul Vallas, earlier this month in a runoff election. He is set to be sworn into office on May 15.
Fox News’ Houston Keene contributed to this report.