Lori Lightfoot Blames Chicago Carjacking Surge On Remote Learning

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Kyle Schmidbauer Associate Editor
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Democrat Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed the “pure boredom” of teens kept out of school by COVID-19 restrictions for the city’s recent surge in carjackings during a Monday news conference.

“Having talked to state’s attorneys who were 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,” Lightfoot told reporters, according to ABC News.

“For many of these kids, some of whom had no prior involvement in the criminal justice system, this was pure boredom,” the mayor continued. “But we’re way past that point now, and we’ve gotta bend the curve on this issue.”

The Chicago Teachers Union, which itself has received backlash for its resistance to reopening schools, was quick to condemn Lightfoot for the comment. (RELATED: Chicago Teachers Suspend ‘Remote Work Action,’ Return To Classroom On Wednesday)

“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 carjackings, which have been growing across the nation,” the union said in a statement. “To suggest that our students are somehow disproportionately responsible for these crimes is precisely the kind of scapegoating and smear tactics Black and Brown students and adults have had to contend with in any discourse about crime for generations.”

In 2020, Chicago reported over 1,400 carjackings — more than twice the number reported in 2019, and the highest since 2001, according to a local NBC affiliate. At the time, it was also reported that the city was on pace for over 1,800 carjackings in 2021.