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‘PANDEMIC OF VIOLENCE’: Lightfoot’s record on crime at the forefront of Chicago mayoral election

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The Chicago mayoral election, set to take place early next year, comes amid an unprecedented spike in crime as incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot seeks to defend her post in the mayor’s office against numerous challengers.

Several individuals have announced their candidacy in the race ahead of the Nov. 28 filing deadline and will face off in the Windy City’s nonpartisan mayoral election slated for Feb. 28.

While there are a number of issues in focus ahead of the election, crime is a central priority for both candidates and voters. Homicides in the deep-blue city rose to their highest number in 25 years in 2021, according to police department records, outpacing New York City and Los Angeles.

Several candidates who aim to serve as Chicago’s 57th mayor told Fox News Digital they believe that Lightfoot has not fulfilled promises to make the city a safer environment as they stressed the importance of supporting police and tackling crime head on.


Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who assumed office in May 2019, is facing scrutiny from other mayoral candidates who conclude she has not fulfilled campaign promises.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who assumed office in May 2019, is facing scrutiny from other mayoral candidates who conclude she has not fulfilled campaign promises.
(Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images)

“Chicago needs a leader who understands our city, its people, its history and its character. It needs someone who is a consensus builder, someone who is willing to work with everyone from across the city, who doesn’t get into feuds and has a thick skin. None of those things describe our current mayor,” said Roderick Sawyer, the son of former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer.

Looking to follow in his father’s footsteps as mayor, Sawyer, a current member of the Chicago City Council who was elected to represent the South Side’s 6th Ward in 2011, insisted that a “role such as mayor requires someone who has a history of working on budgets, passing legislation and finding practical solutions.”

“We have a public safety crisis that I won’t claim is entirely the fault of our current mayor, though she certainly hasn’t helped,” Sawyer said. “We need to address public safety and crime from a wide variety of angles. We have a level of crime anxiety that affects everyone, even those who don’t live in our most crime-affected areas.”

“Police reform is an important and frequently misunderstood component of crime reduction,” he added. “We need a strong police force, but a police department is strongest when it is respected and welcomed in all communities, not feared in some. Reform is not a tool to weaken police but to empower them.”

Sawyer believes that Lightfoot “does not play well with others” and “chooses petty feuds over leadership and her priorities are puzzling at best.” Regarding Lightfoot’s ability to lead, Sawyer, who noted that he grew up in a part of Chicago with a high crime rate, said the current mayor “is not respected or liked by the police department, and yet she has stood in the way of one of her primary campaign promises — meaningful police reform.” 

Ald. Roderick Sawyer, one of three aldermen seeking to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot, on March 30, 2022. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Ald. Roderick Sawyer, one of three aldermen seeking to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot, on March 30, 2022. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“I have a very positive working relationship with the police in my ward and all over the city — they know me as someone who has been here all of my life and wants to make our department stronger and more effective,” he said.

Similarly, Frederick Collins, a 29-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, told Fox that he believes Chicago needs “a leader who will not only listen to its citizens and their needs, but take charge of the immediate issues plaguing our city and get real results.”


“The citizens of this great city are sick and tired of this unprecedented crime wave, which has now touched neighborhoods like nothing before,” Collins stated.

Collins, who made an unsuccessful ran for mayor of the city in 2015, said his experience as a law enforcement officer has prepared him with the ability to lead Chicago and “deploy tactics and methods that would help curb crime and get criminals off our streets.”

“These politicians in this race only have theories and political wish lists on how to deal with crime and no real experience,” he said. “Chicago has a litany of problems in need of an immediate resolution, but if we don’t get this issue of crime under control, we will not have much of a city left.”

If elected, Collins said one of his first priorities in office would be to “take the handcuffs off the police and allow them to do their jobs effectively and get rid of the so-called no-chase policy.” Additionally, Collins said he would “deploy stop and frisk, considering police have body camera technology which would allow greater transparency into justifying why the individual(s) were stopped for reasonable cause.”

Frederick Collins, a 29-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who looks to unseat Lightfoot in the 2023 Chicago mayoral election.

Frederick Collins, a 29-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who looks to unseat Lightfoot in the 2023 Chicago mayoral election.
(Frederick Collins)

Asked about Lightfoot’s leadership of the city and whether he believes she has been an effective leader, Collins said, “No! And here’s why. When I speak to potential voters on their doorsteps or at a local grocery store, I ask them what they can point to that made their lives better in this city now than four or five or years ago. They can’t name one, and this is no lie.”

“Mayor Lightfoot has her shortcomings, but the voters know this, so I’m not going to focus on her. This is a job interview, and what I will demonstrate to the voters is the time is now to ditch the politicians and hire a public servant who believes in serving the people and not the other way around.”

State Rep. Kambium Buckner, a Democrat who represents the 26th District in the Illinois House of Representatives, is also making crime a focus in the race. “We need a leader who will fight for Chicago, not against everyone else. We need a leader who is from this city and knows its people. We need a leader who understands how government works on all levels and has the experience to back it up,” Buckner told Fox.


Asked about the most pertinent problems facing Chicago, Buckner said his “4-Star Plan,” detailed on his website, will work toward “a safer and more just Chicago, improved education for all, economic opportunity and recovery, and stabilizing Chicago’s finances.”

“Chicagoans need both increased public safety and increased public security,” Buckner said. “Public security is about making sure our law enforcement officers have what they need to protect communities from crime, and public safety is about making sure communities have the resources they need: a quality education, affordable housing, healthcare, and good paying jobs.”

Buckner, a former intern for Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, said Lightfoot “has not delivered on her promises” after she “promised us a safer Chicago and greater investment in the root causes of violence.”

“People across this city have not been this afraid since the crime spikes in the 90s. Not only has the Mayor not delivered, but she has no plan,” he said. “I, on the other hand, have a plan and the track record to back it up. I was instrumental in banning ghost guns in Illinois, making us the first state in the Midwest to do so.”

“Chicago is suffering a horrifying pandemic of violence,” Buckner added. “Crime, and homicides in particular, is the worst it’s been since 1996. In 2021, a staggering 797 people were murdered, and shootings have gone up 53% since 2018. Carjackings — happening in neighborhoods across the city — have increased over 200% from 2019.”

Illinois State Rep. Kambium Buckner announces his candidacy for Chicago mayor on May 12, 2022.

Illinois State Rep. Kambium Buckner announces his candidacy for Chicago mayor on May 12, 2022.
(Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Buckner said he will address the crime wave in the city with a “Safer 77 plan,” which includes “specifics about improved community policing, co-responder models for mental health crises, and increased security on the CTA to protect both passengers and employees.”

Candidates seeking to run for mayor in Chicago are required to collect at least 12,500 petition signatures from registered voters in the city in order to appear on the ballot. Lightfoot previously told reporters that she would be submitting her signatures on the final possible day to submit petitions in an attempt to garner the final spot on the ballot.

“We will be filing on Nov. 28,” she said. “There’s no magic to it, but we’ll wait til the 28th to file, the last day to file, as we did four years ago.”

Under Chicago law, candidates who file on the final day are entered into a lottery for the last spot on the ballot, and candidates who file on the first possible day are entered into a lottery to appear first on the ballot. Candidates who file on those days hope to stand out by appearing at the top or bottom of the ballot in a crowded field of challengers.

Though the numbers of people shot or killed across the city are down this year, there has still been a 35% increase in all reported crimes in 2022, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Despite the rise in crime, Lightfoot has defended her record on the issue as mayor and touted a “multitiered strategy” to curb gang and gun crimes in August


Lightfoot’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue of crime and how it will play a role in the Chicago mayoral race.

Other mayoral candidates in the race who did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment ahead of the election include Democratic Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Ja’Mal Green, Sophia King, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, Alderman Sophia King, Paul Vallas and Willie Wilson.



NY Times article on Biden’s age ripped as ‘slobbering,’ ‘embarrassing’ after latest fall

The New York Times is facing ridicule on Twitter after an article Sunday painted President Biden’s old age in a positive light, describing the 80-year-old president as “sharp,” “fit” and having “striking stamina.”

The Times article by White House reporters Peter Baker, Michael Shear, Katie Rogers and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, titled, “Inside the Complicated Reality of Being America’s Oldest President,” claimed Biden’s aides have been purposely limiting his exposure to the media to avoid any potential gaffes.

“The two Joe Bidens coexist in the same octogenarian president: Sharp and wise at critical moments, the product of decades of seasoning, able to rise to the occasion even in the dead of night to confront a dangerous world,” the article said. “Yet a little slower, a little softer, a little harder of hearing, a little more tentative in his walk, a little more prone to occasional lapses of memory in ways that feel familiar to anyone who has reached their ninth decade or has a parent who has.”

“Like many his age, Mr. Biden repeats phrases and retells the same story, often fact-challenged stories again and again,” the article continued. “He can be quirky; when children visit, he may randomly pull a book of William Butler Yeats off his desk and start reading Irish poetry to them.”

Biden falls at Air Force Academy

President Joe Biden is helped up after falling during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 1, 2023. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

“At the same time, he is trim and fit, exercises five days a week and does not drink,” it added. “He has at times exhibited striking stamina, such as when he flew to Poland then boarded a nine-hour train ride to make a secret visit to Kyiv, spent hours on the ground, then endured another nine-hour train ride and a flight to Warsaw. A study of his schedule by Mr. Biden’s aides shows that he has traveled slightly more in the first few months of his third year in office than Mr. Obama did in his.”


Steve Guest, a special adviser for communications for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the article “embarrassing.”

News Cycle Media President Jon Nicosia called the article “slobbering.”

Former Obama speechwriter Jonathan Favreau, who now co-hosts “Pod Save America,” said the article was “pretty positive.”

National Review contributor Pradheep Shanker said the article was “not totally objective” but at least opened the door for questioning the president’s capabilities.

“Good for the Times to actually write this… It’s still not totally objective, but it’s a solid effort at least,” Shanker wrote. “I mean those is a positive spin at best. What’s more likely is that many, many of the presidential level decisions are not being made by Biden at all.”

Biden tripped and fell during a U.S. Air Force Academy commencement ceremony Thursday, prompting three Secret Service agents to rush to help the president up.

Biden fall

US President Joe Biden fell during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy on June 1, 2023. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Air Force Academy salutes Biden

President Joe Biden arrives to deliver the commencement address at the Air Force Academy on June 1, 2023. (Getty Images)

The White House said Thursday that Biden tripped over a sandbag and was not injured by the fall. 

The fall reignited concerns about Biden’s age, prompting a number of media outlets to pounce and seize on Republicans voicing concerns about Biden’s physical health.


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Capitol Police stop youth choir during national anthem performance, sparking outrage: ‘I was shocked’

Video footage showing a South Carolina-based children’s choir being stopped by a Capitol Police officer from singing the national anthem in the U.S. Capitol has gone viral with millions of views.

Capitol Police said singers with the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir from Greenville were stopped because of a “miscommunication,” which occurred May 26.

Capitol Police initially issued a statement that said they were under the impression the group didn’t have permission to perform in the building but clarified later that they “were not aware that the Speaker’s Office had approved this performance.”

Choir director David Rasbach and another choir leader said the visit was approved by the office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., which the speaker’s office confirmed.

Rushingbrook Children’s Choir

In this image taken from video, the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir sings the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall on May 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Farnoush Amiri)

“I was shocked, I was dismayed, I was stunned,” Rasbach, who said he secured permission from three congressional offices to perform at the U.S. Capitol, told the Daily Signal. “I couldn’t believe that was happening, that they would stop the national anthem, of all songs.”

Video of the event showed the children singing as a Capitol Police officer spoke with two other men. One of the men, who appears to be a congressional staffer, then approached Rasbach. A few seconds later, Rasbach motioned to the choir and cut them off to stop singing.

A patch for a United States Capitol Police Officer

Capitol Police said singers with the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir from Greenville were stopped because of a “miscommunication,” which occurred May 26. (U.S. Capitol Police)

Capitol police officers at the capitol building

Police arrive by bus at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez/File)

Some Republicans accused Capitol Police of taking action against the kids due to political bias, but the Capitol Police said that is untrue and accused the congressional staffer of lying “to the officers multiple times about having permission from various offices” in one emailed statement to the Daily Signal.

“Recently somebody posted a video of a children’s choir singing the Star-Spangled Banner in the U.S. Capitol Building and wrongfully claimed we stopped the performance because it ‘might offend someone,’” the Capitol Police said. “Here is the truth. Demonstrations and musical performances are not allowed in the U.S. Capitol.”

“Of course, because the singers in this situation were children, our officers were reasonable and allowed the children to finish their beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner,” the statement added. “The Congressional staff member who was accompanying the group knew the rules, yet lied to the officers multiple times about having permission from various offices. The staffer put both the choir and our officers, who were simply doing their jobs, in an awkward and embarrassing position.”

McCarthy and three Republican members of Congress involved in inviting the group to the Capitol issued a joint statement, saying they were “very disappointed” that the performance was cut short.

“We recently learned that schoolchildren from South Carolina were interrupted while singing our National Anthem at the Capitol. These children were welcomed by the Speaker’s Office to joyfully express their love of this nation while visiting the Capitol, and we are all very disappointed to learn their celebration was cut short,” McCarthy and three House Republicans said. “We are delighted that the People’s House has been reopened particularly for our children and we look forward to welcoming more Americans back to the halls of Congress.”

Capitol Police did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Biden admin slammed as granting ‘major coup’ to China after top officials visit on Tiananmen massacre date

EXCLUSIVE: The Biden administration is getting slammed as handing a “major coup” to Chinese President Xi Jinping after two senior officials made a trip to China on Sunday in an attempt to ease tensions between the two countries.

Critics immediately pointed out that Sunday, June 4, marks the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, when the Chinese military slaughtered hundreds, possibly thousands, of pro-democracy protesters.

Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and Sarah Beran, the National Security Council’s senior director for China and Taiwan affairs, arrived in Beijing to discuss “key issues in the bilateral relationship,” the State Department said in a press release.

Tiananmen Square in Beijing

Demonstration at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on June 1, 1989. (Eric Bouvet/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Wang Yi and Antony Blinken shake hands

Secretary of State Antony Blinken shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on July 9, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., called attention to the timing of the trip on Twitter.

“Is the Biden Administration sending senior officials to China as we remember the anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square?” he wrote.


Issa, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News Digital that the trip only benefits China and Chinese President Xi Jinping while weakening the United States’ position on the world stage.

“This is no ordinary foreign policy stumble,” he said. “It’s a concession demanded by the Chinese and granted by a White House and State Department willing to bend. It’s a major coup for Xi, and America’s position in the world just got weaker – where it matters most.” 

“There’s no way the Congress can just look away and let this go,” he added.

Darrell Issa

Rep. Darrell Issa during a House Judiciary Committee field hearing in New York on April 17, 2023. (Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Nearly two hours after the first press release, the State Department issued another one honoring the Tiananmen Square anniversary.

“Tomorrow, we observe the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre,” the release said. “On June 4th, 1989, the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sent tanks into Tiananmen Square to brutally repress peaceful Chinese pro-democracy protesters and bystanders alike.” 

“The victims’ bravery will not be forgotten and continues to inspire advocates for these principles around the world,” it added. “The United States will continue advocating for people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms in China and around the world.”


Issa’s office said he plans to send a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding answers about the China trip.

A State Department spokesperson told Reuters that Kritenbrink’s official meetings will begin Monday, and that he would raise the issue of human rights in the communist country.


Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a joint news conference after the 32nd annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations, Dec. 6, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Michael Sobolik, a fellow in Indo-Pacific Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council, responded to the press release about the China visit by asking, “Is this a joke?”

Isaac Stone Fish, the CEO of Strategic Risks, which “quantifies corporate exposure to China,” and a visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council, offered a “pro-tip” on Twitter, saying, “Don’t be a senior government official visiting China on the anniversary of Tiananmen Square.”

Fox News Digital asked the State Department and the White House whether the Tiananmen Square massacre would be discussed, but neither responded.

Dialogue between the Biden administration and Beijing has been nearly dormant in recent months as attempts at interactions have been shuttered since the U.S. shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that traversed the country earlier this year.

A previously scheduled trip by Blinken, where he was expected to meet with Xi, was canceled because of the China spy balloon incident.

The U.S.-China relationship has been further strained over China’s military activity in the South China Sea and the United States’ support of Taiwan.

34th anniversary of Beijing Tiananmen crackdown

People take part in a vigil at the Liberty Square of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to mark the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989, in Taipei, Taiwan, on Sunday, June 4, 2023. (Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Additionally, Beijing has taken umbrage after the U.S. warned China against arming Russia to help its war in Ukraine. 

CIA Director William Burns secretly visited China last month in an effort to restore relations, meeting with his Chinese counterparts to emphasize “the importance of maintaining open lines of communication in intelligence channels,” according to the Financial Times, which first reported the visit. 

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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