According to a 911 dispatcher in Chicago, violent crime has gotten worse throughout the city, and he blames the city’s leadership and the citywide staffing shortages.
Keith Thornton told “Fox & Friends” that first responders are being overworked as a “massive” amount of crime is taking place in the city at “all hours of the day.”
“All hell has broken loose,” Thornton said.
Thornton then went on to specifically blame the city’s leadership — and Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot in particular.
“The blood, in my opinion, is on her hands,” Thornton said.
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“What’s horrible is the lack of leadership and the failure of leadership throughout this entire city of Chicago — and it’s ridiculous because it does not have to be this way,” he added.
Violent crime and homicide in Chicago have risen dramatically in 2021.
As of Christmas day, 793 people have been slain in Chicago in 2021, according to the Chicago Tribune.
That is 33 more people dead than at the same time in 2020.
Axios reported that Cook County, which is the county that Chicago sits in, has not seen homicide numbers this extreme since 1994.
Just over the Christmas weekend in Chicago, at least one person was fatally shot, and another 17 were wounded in shootings across the city, as WMAQ-TV reported.
Lightfoot has said she is addressing the issue of extreme crime rates.
“Keeping you safe is my priority. Not one of, but the first and primary priority,” Lightfoot said, WGN-TV reported.
“This is not an academic exercise for me. I feel the urgency every day. It is heart-wrenching to hear the cries of the survivors who have had a loved one felled by gun violence,” Lightfoot added. Related: House Democrat Who Co-Sponsored Bill to Replace Police with Social Workers Carjacked at Gunpoint
However, Thornton blamed the leadership for violence throughout Chicago.
He noted that during the Trump administration, Lightfoot neither “acknowledged” nor “wanted” federal help to address the violence, Fox reported.
“This is not a black problem, a white problem, a Democratic problem, a Republican problem, a Latino problem, this is an all-hands-on-deck problem, and everyone within Chicago should be fueled up — and that’s why I’m taking a stand,” Thornton said.
Thornton has been outspoken in criticizing the leadership of Chicago and pointing out the violence that is not being curbed, and others have joined him.
City Council members have spoken out about staffing shortages they are experiencing in their wards.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that after Thornton’s remarks, Alderman Nick Sposato, Alderman Anthony Napolitano, and other City Council members whose wards overlap the 16th District plan to meet to discuss the issues of police manpower.
“We have to fight for crumbs. Since we are in a city that believes in socialism, give us our fair share and even things out. Start helping us on the Northwest Side and give us more bodies,” Sposato said.
The police shortages are clear in that arrests are going down while crime is going up, as Axios reported.
“Arrests are down likely for a variety of reasons, some related to the pandemic and public health protocols, as well as the decrease in community trust in police, as well as a general pulling back of proactive policing,” Executive Director of the UChicago Crime Lab Roseanna Ander told Axios.
In addition to that, Chicago is also set to lose more than 1,000 officers to resignation and retirement, which is the highest annual total since 2018, according to WGN-TV.
“When you look at it, it’s a recipe for disaster. And that’s what we’re seeing right now. It is why crime is escalating in the city of Chicago,” Alderman Anthony Beale said.
All of this is why Thornton said he is speaking out to bring attention to what is going wrong in Chicago.
“When you say ‘Chicago,’ people are afraid,” Thornton said, according to Fox.