Full 3-Part Exclusive Series: How 1 Chicago Cop Exposed Lori Lightfoot's Murder Crisis


As Chicago’s murder rate continues to rise, many are wondering who, or what, is to blame for the ongoing crisis.

During an interview with The Western Journal, Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, a veteran of Chicago’s suburbs and spokeswoman for the National Police Association, exposed the cause of that crisis — city officials are ignoring the problem entirely.

Furthermore, Smith noted that the policies promoted by these officials are exacerbating the rising crime rate in two ways.

One, police reform measures are hampering police efforts to reduce the crime rate, and two, the state’s attorney’s progressive agenda is dropping an exorbitant number of cases against violent criminals, allowing them back onto the city’s streets.

Here is The Western Journal’s three-part exclusive series of special reports on our interview with Smith and the issues she brought to light.

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Part 1: Chicago’s Mayor Ignores Murder Crisis, Focuses Instead on Counterproductive “Police Accountability”

“The mayor doesn’t pay a lot of attention to violence,” Smith told The Western Journal.

Has Mayor Lightfoot failed to address Chicago's crime problem?

Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly failed to address, or even acknowledge, her city’s crime problem.

And, rather than pursue policies that could reduce the rapidly increasing murder rate, Lightfoot has opted to push “police reform” policies that restrict the Chicago Police Department’s ability to effectively combat crime.

Part 2: Police Reform Policies Hamper Police Efforts to Reduce Chicago Crime

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“[Mayor Lightfoot] is very much about trying to hamstring the police department as opposed to allowing them to try to stop the violence,” Smith told The Western Journal.

The police reform policies promoted by Lightfoot have greatly hindered law enforcement efforts to reduce violent crime in Chicago.

These policies include restrictive foot chase procedures, a ban on all police chokeholds and guidelines for “decertification” of police officers.

Part 3: Chicago’s Progressive Prosecutors Set Violent Criminals Loose on the City’s Streets

“It is not necessarily about how many arrests the Chicago Police Department is making; it is about how those cases are being prosecuted,” Smith told The Western Journal.

According to Smith, the bulk of the blame for Chicago’s murder crisis can be placed at the feet of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Foxx’s progressive agenda as a top prosecutor in Chicago has brought about reduced sentencing and greater leniency for violent offenders.

One analysis conducted by the Chicago Tribune found that Foxx’s office has dismissed an exorbitant number of cases against defendants “accused of murder, shooting another person, sex crimes, and attacks on police officers.”

Full Transcript of The Western Journal’s Interview with Sgt. Smith

In addition to her insight on the source of Chicago’s problems, Smith made a point to commend the city’s police for their dedication and hard work.

“Chicago is my home, and it’s sad. And the Chicago police are — I was there last year, they were the last organization I trained before COVID grounded us — and I just can’t tell you, it just really gets me because they are some of the best people and the best police officers in this country,” Smith said.

“And if you could just see them like I did in my classrooms and stuff like that, the diversity and yet the cohesiveness is extraordinary. And they really give a d*** about what’s happening in their city.”

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Ames, Iowa