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A Democrat leader in crime-ridden Chicago has warned of the failures of progressive policies to change the tide on violent attacks in the city, amid soaring rates of murder and robbery.
Raymond Lopez, alderman of the 15th Ward in Chicago, told ‘America Reports’ on Tuesday that criminals are ‘taking note’ of lax attitudes towards violent crime, going so far as to brazenly ‘threaten elected officials like myself’ as state laws ‘do not warrant you being held on bond anymore’.
As the House Judiciary Committee visited Chicago last week to examine crime in the city, Lopez deemed it ‘unfortunate’ that ‘not one single Democrat chose to participate and make their voices heard or to hear from those most impacted.’
‘They are often talked about for the progressive agenda, for the extreme liberal agenda that says they care. But their policies, particularly when it comes to police reform and criminal justice reform, in my opinion, are very racist because oftentimes the victims of the most heinous crimes by the repeat offenders are those same Black and Brown residents that the White liberals claim to care about but truly don’t,’ he said.
Reports of murders, theft, felonies and property crimes in Chicago in 2022 was 33 per cent higher than in 2019, before the pandemic. Incidence of major crime was also 61 per cent higher in March 2023 than it was 12 months prior, and 97 per cent higher than in 2021.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) announces he is running for mayor of Chicago in 2023, during a news conference on April 6, 2022. Lopez has slammed inaction on rising crime in the city
Video shared last week showed a man attacked in Chicago in broad daylight as robberies rise
Just last week, shocking video footage emerged of an innocent man being jumped by two opportunistic muggers on a Chicago street in broad daylight.
The video begins with the two attackers wandering through an alley. Eventually, at 2:55pm, the victim, 33, nonchalantly walks by his attackers, eating pizza.
The man is then ambushed as one attacker throws him against a chain-link fence. Despite being outnumbered and ambushed, the victim fights back, repeatedly telling the assailants to ‘Get the f*** off me!’
Eventually, he wrestles one of the attackers to the ground around some nearby garbage cans. At that point, the other attacker says: ‘Just let it go!’
The two were able to make off with his backpack and what appeared to be a cellphone.
Chicago Police Department statistics show that robberies are up nearly 100 percent from 2019 in the Bucktown neighborhood and up 53 percent from 2022.
Chicago also reported 21,516 car thefts last year, up from 13,856 the year prior – a 55 per cent increase, according to data from the National Crime Information Center, and significantly higher than the seven per cent hike nationwide.
Brandon Johnson, Mayor of Chicago since April 2023, previously supported the Defund the Police movement and has been widely criticized for a soft-on-crime approach.
He made history when he was elected as the first person to unseat a presiding mayor in the Dem-led city since 1983, pledging to make the city a place where ‘all residents can live and work free from the threat of violence’.
Johnson’s radical approach to policing involves reallocating funds from enforcement to social services like housing and education, while taxing the rich and local businesses.
His predecessor Lori Lightfoot’s time in office was marked by criticism over her handling of crime in the city, which has risen significantly. The city recorded 800 murders in 2021, the highest in 25 years.
Mayor Brandon Johnson delivers remarks at a press conference at City Hall in Chicago on August 2, 2023
Raymind Lopez is currently a member of the Chicago City Council, serving as alderman of the 15th Ward.
He became the first openly gay Mexican-American to be elected in Illinois after his successful bid in 2012.
Lopez announced last April that he would run in the 2023 Chicago mayoral election, which ultimately saw Brandon Johnson unseat incumbent Ms Lightfoot.
Lopez dropped out of the race in November 2022 and filed to run for re-election to city council.
Last month, he spoke out on payments made on emergency contracts agreed to tackle a surge of migrants moving to the city.
Chicago has paid at least $56 million to Favorite Healthcare Staffing to care for the more than 13,000 migrants who have arrived this year, according to an NBC 5 investigation that found nurses were making $135 an hour or more.
A manager was paid $14,000 for just one week of work, and a nurse earned an eye-watering $20,000 for a week in December. Both invoices included overtime.
‘To see invoices like that are disgusting. They are outrageous and they are cause for an immediate investigation,’ Aldermen Raymond Lopez told NBC.