CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JULY 16: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes a question during a press conference with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during a visit to a commuter transportation hub on July 16, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
UPDATED 9:46 AM PT – Thursday, August 12, 2021
Chicago’s Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot has agreed to boost police funding after tragedy struck her city’s police department. Following hundreds of police officers’ resignations in the Windy City and one officer recently murdered, Lightfoot said at a press conference on Wednesday that she promises to increase police funding in 2022.
On Saturday, 29-year-old Chicago police officer Ella French was shot during a traffic stop and later died from her wounds. Her partner was also shot and hospitalized with his condition remaining unknown.
Following the tragic incident, Mayor Lightfoot went to the hospital where the wounded officers were taken. However, police officers visiting their colleagues reportedly turned their backs on the far-left lawmaker who previously proposed a mass cut to the department’s budget.
When reporters asked Lightfoot about the encounter, she shifted the focus and didn’t provide a response to the officers dismissal of her. “There was a lot of emotion running that night. There were hundreds of officers that were there and there was a lot of emotion on the range of spectrum and that’s to be expected,” said Lightfoot. “This was a really hard loss.”
Additionally, Lightfoot didn’t indicate just how much she would increase the department’s $1.6 billion budget, but said they need to bring in the “next generation of officers.”
Chicago Alderman Matt O’Shea said he’s heard from police that they feel like both leaders and residents in Chicago don’t support them. They believe this could be a factor that has likely led to the thousand officer loss seen in the city, showing a major decline compared to prior years.
In addition, police superintendent David O’Neal Brown said nearly 40 officers have been shot at or struck in 2021 alone. Timing for Lightfoot’s new push to provide additional funding for police comes after officer morale has reached all time lows and growing crime has continued to threaten the Chicago area.