Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Says City 'Can't Arrest Our Way' Out of Surging Violence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a Thursday press conference that officials can't simply "arrest" their way out of the rising gun violence that has plagued the city in recent weeks. The mayor said the city also needs to make investments in Chicago's communities to help curb the heightened rate of shootings.

Lightfoot added that city officials are looking at possible investments in Chicago's West Side. Just on Wednesday, the West Side saw two mass shootings that happened within minutes of one another.

"It's obvious: we cannot arrest our way out of this problem," Lightfoot said during the press availability.

"Fundamentally, if you look at the West Side and you look at the problems, the opioid addiction that is really harming so many individuals, families and communities, the investments we have to make in human capital and the investments we have to make in infrastructure, those are why I spend so much time on the West Side," the mayor added.

Chicago skyline
Chicago has seen a spike in gun violence in recent days, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city officials can't simply 'arrest' their way out of the problem. The Chicago skyline is seen here in this stock photo. TC Franco/Getty Images

A day before Lightfoot's comments, the city saw three mass shootings that left 17 people injured and one dead, according to NBC 5. Throughout the city, shootings that occurred on Wednesday evening left at least three dead, the Associated Press reported.

One drive-by shooting on Wednesday wounded eight people who were riding on a party bus.

Earlier this week, Chicago police unveiled a team of officers, federal agents and prosecutors who will focus on combating gun trafficking in the city. City officials have also started offering tips to those who come forward with information about illegal guns.

"The point of this is to get the gun before it hits the streets at the trafficking level," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Monday.

Chicago's rising shootings come as cities around the country have seen an increase in violence. President Joe Biden has pledged to address the nation's surge in violent crime. In June, he released a plan to crack down on gun violence. The Biden administration's initiative involves boosting resources for local law enforcement agencies, expanding employment opportunities for young adults, and helping formerly incarcerated people reenter society.

Chicago is among several U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., that are receiving resources through a federal strike force aimed at reducing gun violence. The effort will seek to help cities prosecute gun traffickers.