Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is suggesting that her metropolis’s dramatic rise in carjackings because the begin of the coronavirus pandemic is linked to college students being refrained from school rooms with distant studying.
Lightfoot argued in favor of the connection Monday as Chicago announced that it’s increasing its vehicular hijacking activity drive and putting in extra cameras and license plate readers across the metropolis in hopes of stopping the crimes.
“We are seeing an inordinate number of juveniles that are the perpetrators of these carjackings. I think in Chicago we have consistently seen 50 percent or higher of the people that we are arresting are juveniles,” Lightfoot told reporters.
CHICAGO POLICE ARREST 3 TEENAGERS ON CARJACKING CHARGES
“We started seeing this rise in cases in 2020. And I’ll be frank and say in Chicago there was a correlation we believe between remote learning and the rise in carjackings,” she added. “Having talked to state attorneys who are dealing with these cases in juvenile court and others, a lot of parents went to work during the day thinking their teenagers were logged on for remote learning, only to find something else. And I ask, ‘is there some new market for stolen cars?’ And unfortunately the answer was no — that for many of these kids, some of whom had no prior involvement in the criminal justice system, this was pure boredom.”
Knowledge compiled by CBS Chicago reveals that there have been 603 carjackings in 2019, earlier than that quantity rose to 1,413 in 2020 and 1,850 final 12 months.
From the start of 2015 till the beginning of 2020, there have been solely 3 months in Chicago the place the variety of carjackings recorded was 100 or extra, the station’s knowledge reveals. Nonetheless, because the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been 18 months with 100 or extra recorded carjackings.
And there additionally was an 11-year-old arrested for a carjacking round Thanksgiving final 12 months.
4 TEENS CHARGED IN SERIES OF CHICAGO CARJACKINGS
“No resident in the city of Chicago or the Chicagoland area deserves to live in fear of violence,” Lightfoot mentioned. “But the sad reality is that in the last year and a half in particular, there is a very real and pervasive fear of carjacking across our city, our region and our state. And in actuality carjackings have become a national crisis.”
The Chicago Teachers Union – which has repeatedly clashed with Lightfoot and the town over bringing college students again into school rooms throughout the pandemic – described the mayor’s remarks about carjackings and distant studying as “inflammatory, hurtful smears against our students.”
“Every child in our public schools in Chicago deserves an apology from the mayor today, who claimed with zero evidence that there was a correlation between remote learning in 2020 and an increase in car-jackings, which have been growing across the nation,” the union mentioned in a press release.
“Is the reason she resisted moving to remote learning during the Omicron surge because her bogus belief in that false correlation has become part of her crime-fighting tactics?” the assertion added.
Chicago Public Faculties are at present educating college students in particular person.