Amid reports that lax prosecution is one of the chief enablers of Chicago gun crime, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois has worked “around the clock” against Chicago “gun violence.”
She said these things on January 13, while delivering a larger Department of Justice report on policing in Chicago.
Lynch spoke of DOJ efforts to curtail gun violence, then said, “No one understands that better than [U.S. Attorney] Zach Fardon. Under his outstanding leadership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois has worked around the clock to tackle gun violence, gang cases, and other serious crimes afflicting the city.”
Yet it was just under a week ago–January 7–that Chicago Police Board Chair Lori Lightfoot said the Chicago Police Department needs more “federal prosecutions” if they are to make a dent in Chicago gun crime.
NPR quoted Lightfoot saying:
We need to have more federal gun prosecutions in Chicago. Our federal partners from the U.S. attorney’s office, the ATF, the FBI need to be much more invested in this overall strategy. Chicago Police Department cannot tackle this issue by itself.
Moreover, in the past few years, the NRA has pointed to a lack of federal prosecutions as a weak link in the fight against Chicago gun crime. The gun rights group made this very point in Amercia’s 1st Freedom in August 2015 and called Fardon out by name:
In 2014 in Chicago, over 2,500 people were shot—nearly 400 of them fatally—and police seized more than 6,252 guns. Yet out of those 6,252 guns seized, Fardon’s federal prosecutors saw fit to pursue just 62 weapons prosecutions. In other words, for every 100 guns police seized, federal prosecutors made just one prosecution.
But Lynch says the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois has worked “around the clock” against Chicago “gun violence.”
Chicago had almost 800 homicides in 2016, “about 91 percent” of which were committed with a firearm, according to the Chicago Tribune. And there were a startling 4,400 shooting victims in Chicago during 2016–that figure represents fatal and non-fatal shootings combined.
Police Board Chair Lightfoot says the city needs the feds to step it up.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.