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Chicago mayor and district atty throw down over gang shootout; Lightfoot calls for federal investigation

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A verbal and very public fight broke out on Tuesday after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and District Attorney Kim Foxx got into a war of words over a gang shootout where the suspects were allowed to walk free after one assailant was killed and two people inside a home were injured last Friday.

After the suspects were cut loose by Foxx’s office, Lightfoot called for a federal investigation into the shootout that involved alleged gang members in a North Austin neighborhood.

“I’d like her to explain because I can’t explain it,” Lightfoot stated, continuing the fight between the two Chicago bureaucrats. “We have to understand how it’s possible when this kind of shootout is captured on film, that there were no charges of any person, even though people were brought into custody and arrested.”

Lightfoot also asked, “So I just want to understand … how it’s possible that not a single charge — not a gun charge, not an attempted murder charge, disturbing a peace — but something to send a message that there’s going to be accountability when people open up and fire into a residence in broad daylight in our city. Something must be done.”

(Video Credit: ABC 7 Chicago)

The mayor stated that on Monday she met with members of the West Side alderman caucus who are requesting that the district attorney reconsider her actions in the matter. She said it was a “complicated” scenario but urged the district attorney to “look at the evidence” and determine whether charges can be “brought at a minimum” against those who initiated the gunfire, according to CBS affiliate WBBM-TV.

“If they do not feel like the criminal justice system is going to hold them accountable, we’re going to see a level of brazenness that will send the city into chaos and we cannot let that happen,” the mayor said on Monday, according to ABC 7 News.

“They were shooting to kill,” Lightfoot declared on Tuesday. “There has got to be accountability for them, and that accountability has to start with getting a good investigation, getting them charged, and holding them responsible in a court.”

(Video Credit: WGN News)

Foxx spoke to reporters in reply to Lightfoot’s comments, stating, “I was quite honestly mortified by what happened yesterday, particularly because the mayor, as a former prosecutor, knows that what she did yesterday was inappropriate.”

“I find myself here today having to respond to a narrative that was given by the mayor yesterday regarding a case that is still under investigation,” she remarked. “It was inappropriate. It was wrong. As a prosecutor who understands the oath, and as a former prosecutor, discussing the facts of this case in the press without the benefit of all of the evidence does a disservice to the communities who have been impacted by this violence.”

“Our job is not simply to make an arrest but it is also to get a conviction,” Foxx declared. “There were statements made by the mayor yesterday regarding the evidence in this case that were simply not true.”

“We do not politicize the death of children for sport,” Foxx contended.

Lightfoot has agreed to meet with Foxx to discuss the case but also stated that she intends to ask the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago to look into filing federal charges.

Foxx bristled at the move, stating, “We can’t just try cases on videos. We need witnesses to come forward.”

The mayor charged, “There are circumstances when you absolutely need to have a witness to identify who did something … This entire episode was captured on videotape; multiple videotapes.”

Foxx claimed that the investigation into the matter has been stalled because alleged witnesses at the scene refuse “to stand under oath and testify.” She says that fact has to be overcome before she can file charges because there is insufficient evidence in the case to proceed. She also claims that Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan agrees with her assessment of the case.

However, Lightfoot said Police Supt. David Brown disagreed with Foxx’s decision not to file charges in the case and said she has questions for Deenihan.

“The question that I’m going to have for him, when I see him shortly, candidly, is if this happened in Beverly, if this happened in Mount Greenwood, if this happened anywhere on the North Side, would there really be no clarity? You’ve seen the video,” the mayor asked. “It is mind-boggling to me, as a former federal prosecutor, but I also think as lay people … people simply do not understand how you could have a firefight initiated by people where you know who started it, saw the cars roaming around that house, we see the individuals get out of that car and initiate a firefight.”

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