The Chicago City Council is close to a quorum for a special meeting Friday on crime in the city just a week after Mayor Lori Lightfoot got into a heated exchange with Newsmax at a press conference over whether she had "lost control of the city."
At her news conference last Friday, Newsmax reporter William J. Kelly drew an angry reaction from Lightfoot when he asked whether she had lost "control of the city" and the City Council. Chicago had 74 shootings and six deaths last weekend.
In the exchange, Lightfoot denied there was a violent crime crisis in Chicago.
"Crime is not out of control in our city," she said. "In fact, crime is on the decline. All of our major indices show a decline in our crime and our homicides and our shootings year over year are down. That's a fact, sir."
Kelly reports that at least 25 aldermen have agreed to attend a Friday morning meeting on violent crime heading into the July Fourth weekend. Twenty-six members are needed for a quorum.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown had not yet agreed to attend the meeting as of Thursday.
"It is obvious to everyone in Chicago that the bloodshed is getting worse, not better," Kelly said Thursday. "Mayor Lightfoot says that any criticism of her is due to racism, but facts are facts. And these facts make Mayor Lightfoot very angry when she is actually confronted with them."
Kelly told Newsmax Thursday he would pursue the issue "all the way to City Hall."
After two straight weekends with mass shootings, the council doesn't want to see a repeat over the holiday weekend, ABC 7 reported.
"I don't think that it's unreasonable for us to ask for an additional meeting right before one of the biggest holidays of the year, which has historically been a violent weekend," Alderman Rod Sawyer said.
Lightfoot issued a statement seeming to say the call for a special meeting was politicizing the issue.
"Public safety of our city is an important, serious matter,'' she said."It is unfortunate that for some, it is being used as a political wedge issue. Nonetheless, I look forward to this special meeting on Friday to provide yet another opportunity for aldermen to be briefed on our whole of government approach to public safety."
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