Lightfoot says city will sue gang members to ‘take their assets’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday the city of Chicago will start suing gang members to “take their assets” — a strategy that’s been used in the suburbs for more than 20 years with mixed results.
In suburban counties, state’s attorneys have used the Illinois Gang Prevention Act to sue gang members, seeking monetary damages and court orders barring them from associating with each other and possessing guns.
Lightfoot said she’ll propose an ordinance Monday to allow the city’s lawyers to file such lawsuits.
She said her proposed anti-gang ordinance isn’t her way of bypassing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. The mayor has publicly disagreed with Foxx’s handling of gun cases, carjackings and other crimes.
“We can’t wait for anybody else,” Lightfoot said. “We have an opportunity to bring these violent street gangs into civil court, out of the shadows, expose them for what they are — and, if we’re successful, and I think we will be, take their assets and the profit motive for killing our babies.
“We have to put a marker down that we are using every tool in our toolkit to push back against these violent gangs that are leaving a trail of blood and death and misery in their wake.”
John Mauck, an attorney who successfully defended four men against such a lawsuit in Kane County, said Lightfoot’s announcement is “98% political and 2% reality.”