Chicago Mayor could sue gangs to curb violence

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is embarking on a unique way to curb violence in the Windy City.

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She announced that she could be using the Illinois Street Gang Prevention Act to hit gang members where it hurts — their wallets, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The measure has already been used in the city’s suburbs.

Under the act, the city can sue gang members to take their assets.

“We can’t wait for anybody else,” Lightfoot said recently, according to the Sun-Times. “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.”

Not all agree with Lightfoot’s take.

John Mauck, an attorney who defended people who were charged under the act, called her announcement political and said it won’t actually stop crime, the Sun-Times reported.

While people have faced lawsuits under the act, rarely have monetary damages been able to be collected.

The ordinace will have to be approved by Chicago’s city council before it becomes a law, WFLD reported.