US Chicago alderman on violent Fourth of July weekend: ‘This is a war zone’
Chicago's mayor said violent crime is going down. That's not the whole story.
Another violent Fourth of July weekend has the city grappling with what to do about gun violence.Aggravated batteries, robberies and sexual assaults had declined. But Lightfoot’s critics, including many conservatives, were quick to point out that her claims brushed past numbers that were not as rosy — such as jumps in shootings and homicides.
Alderman reacted to the Fourth of July weekend in his city on Monday, calling the area a "war zone," and slammed local leaders, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, for the increase in crime.
"We are averaging over 6,000 people shot over the last 18 months," Napolitano, a former Chicago police officer, noted on "" on Monday.
At least 82 people have been shot with 14 of them being deadly, since 5 p.m. Friday,on Monday morning.
The media outlet noted that in comparison, during Independence Day weekend in 2019, at least 68 people were shot, five fatally and in 2020, nearly 80 people were shot and 15 were killed.
Chicago Sees Most Violent Weekend of 2021 With More Than 70 People Shot
This weekend's figures break the previous record over the June 4 to June 6 weekend, where 58 people were shot over the 54-hour period. There have been at least 1,842 shootings in Chicago this year, compared to the 1,625 at this time last year—a more than 13 percent increase. The most violent mass shooting over the weekend took place in the city's Chicago Lawn neighborhood on Sunday night when three unknown men emerged from an ally and opened fire on a crowd gathered outside the 6300 block of South Artesian Avenue.
One of the victims of this past weekend’s violence in Chicago was a 19-year-old active member of the National Guard who was shot and killed,
was found unresponsive on a Chicago sidewalk with gunshot wounds at around 1:25 Saturday morning, the outlet reported, citing police. Family members reportedly told the station that Carvajal had been home for less than a month and had plans to return to a National Guard base.
Lightfootin her city on several factors, including gun laws in the states and locales surrounding Chicago.
"I believe that violence is a manifestation of systemic problems, and it's a public health crisis," she said in an interview with, a local PBS station. "When you see, in way too many neighborhoods, a lack of jobs, a lack of investment – these are historic, decades-long problems."
Hotel Guest Arrested After Rifle, Ammunition Found in Room Overlooking Lake
Keegan Casteel was taken into custody after an employee found a rifle, a high-powered scope, a pistol and ammunition in a room at the hotel.Keegan Casteel, 32, was arrested after a witness informed police that the man had a rifle inside a hotel room in the 600 block of N. Lake Shore Drive on Sunday evening, a spokesman for the Chicago Police Department told Newsweek. "The offender was taken into custody without incident. A rifle and an additional firearm were recovered from the scene," the spokesman added.
Chicago is "surrounded by" suburbs and states "that have very lax gun laws," Lightfoot continued.
"We know that federally licensed gun dealers are selling to criminals and straw purchasers," she said. "…We know that because of our proximity to states like Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan that … you can go across the border into these states, and if you've got the cash, you can buy literally military-grade weapons of any quantity and bring them back to Chicago."
Napolitano, the alderman for Chicago's 41st ward, called Lightfoot’s argument "pure nonsense," adding that "we have the strongest and the strictest gun laws in the state, if not the country."
Video: Violent Fourth of July weekend in Chicago (FOX News)
He also noted that border towns have "nowhere near the amount of crime we do."
Nearly 1,500 people have been shot so far in Chicago in 2021 – a 12% increase compared to 2020 and a 59% increase compared to 2019, according to thefor the week ending June 27.
New Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Biden's approval rating falls, as both Republicans and Democrats grow more concerned about crime
Rising worries about crime among both Democrats and Republicans are starting to create a drag on President Biden’s approval rating, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and could signal larger challenges for the president’s party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The survey of 1,592 U.S. adults, which was conducted from June 22 to 24, found that a significant majority (55 percent) now describe “violent crime” as a “very big problem” in the United States — far more than the share who checked that degree of concern for the coronavirus pandemic (36 percent), race relations (39 percent), the economy (41 percent) or political correctness (39 percent).
A spokesperson for Lightfoot did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Napolitano also slammed Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx, who he referred to as "by far the worst in the nation," for the increase in crime.
He said that when criminals get arrested, "they’re out within a couple hours because we have the worst state’s attorney in the country, [who] wants to."
Napolitano then suggested that aldermen, like himself, should start tackling the problem on their own so curb crime in the area.
"As legislators, if we start changing the way our city ordinances are written, we can start hitting criminals in the pocket, on behalf of what crimes they’re committing in the city of Chicago alone," he said.
"[The] state’s attorney can drop all of her charges every day of the week like she’s been doing, but we should take care of it more at the local level and that’s a way that we can start curbing crime here."
A spokesperson for Foxx did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
, alderman for Chicago's 15th ward, told " " on Friday that the city's leadership is not up for the job of keeping residents safe.
Opinion: The latest political cartoons
Opinion: The latest political cartoons
On Monday, Napolitano explained that he, Lopez and another Chicago alderman,, held a special city council on Friday and "we got actually up to 47 aldermen to he show up on behalf of this crime issue" to discuss how the mayor is "going be held accountable for this."
He noted that at the end of the meeting "we realized it’s kind of a smoke and mirror tactic right now."
"There’s no real plan in place," Napolitano continued. "So as legislators I just think that we have to change the dynamic of the way we go after crime."
"We have to take crime in the pocket," he stressed, noting that "that’s the only way" to tackle the problem.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.
Fact checking claims bail reform is driving increase in violent crime .
Violent crime in the United States shot up last year as the pandemic raged. Major cities across the country saw a more than 30% jump in homicides as well as increases in aggravated assaults, according to a January report from the National Commission on Covid-19 and Criminal Justice. © Max Pepper/CNN Experts, politicians and pundits have provided different theories as to why, after decades of a downward trend in overall crime, certain violent crimes are on the rise in cities across the country.