Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to announce an effort to sue local gangs as a way to curb rampant gun violence, according to a local affiliate report.
The Democratic mayor is expected to announce a plan that would allow city attorneys to take legal action against gang affiliated offenders, FOX 32 Chicago reported. A spokesperson for Lightfoot’s office would not comment on Monday, other than to say more details would be available on Tuesday.
“As a city we are using every tool to push back against the gangs that are leaving a trail of blood, death and misery in their wake,” Lightfoot said, according to the report. If successful in their legal efforts, the city could thwart gangs’ activities by seizing property, such as weapons, money and vehicles.
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“What we are proposing is a tool in civil courts that gives us the opportunity to go after those gangs that are wreaking havoc,” Lightfoot reportedly said, “and in particular, take away the profit motive from them by seizing assets that they have been able to purchase because of their violent activity in our neighborhoods.”
The Chicago Police Department has been outspoken about its struggle combating gun violence, especially at the hands of violent gangs, in recent months.
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Speaking to reporters during a crime press conference on Monday, Counterterrorism Chief Ernest Cato said the department’s would be “laser-focused” on gangs and narcotics in the city.
So far this year, CPD has made 1,931 total arrests, and has recovered total narcotics having an estimated street value of $328 million.
“We know in our city that we have a hard, large issue with gang conflicts and open narcotics areas,” Cato said. He later added: “Our focus will be the gangs in this city to help reduce the violence.”
Sixty people were shot in Chicago from 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, including 11 children, according to police. One of the kids, 12, did not survive. And eight children were shot over the extended Labor Day weekend, including a 4-year-old boy who died days after he was struck by a bullet intended for someone else, police said.
Last week, Police Superintendent David O. Brown begged the city’s criminals to stay away from children. Speaking directly to such offenders, he asked: “Why are you continuing to be around young people, our children?”
“That’s on you,” he added.
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He urged such offenders to “stay away from children if you want to live that life.”
“You’re harming this community. You’re harming these families,” he added. “And we will be relentless in pursuing you as an offender.”