More Chicago-area businesses are closing up shop as the city’s crime rate continues to worsen.
Over the weekend, at least 11 people died and another 26 were injured in gun violence in the Windy City. It has caused some, like Rabine Group founder Gary Rabine, to quit smoking.
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“Our employees are being held at gunpoint by their wallets and their phones,” Rabine told Fox News on Wednesday. “It’s not worth it anymore, the danger. You know, we’re a very safety-oriented company, and we can’t take it anymore.”
Rabine, who has spent the past four decades building his business in Chicago, called it “a terrible place to be” and blamed local officials for turning a blind eye to the problem.
“This lawlessness will not stop as long as we have terrible leaders like Brandon Johnson, JB Pritzker and Lori Lightfoot,” he said. “It’s not going to change. It’s only going to get worse. . . . I have family and loved ones who live in the city. They all want to get out and get out, great employees of my companies . . . would rather be there. no state in the country but Illinois. That was never the case five years ago and back. There’s an urgent need for change here. It’s not going to happen, unfortunately, with the terrible leadership we have.”
Rabine’s comments come just days after a group of more than 100 teenagers took to the streets in downtown Chicago, burning cars, blaring music, fighting, breaking down barricades and causing other mayhem. Footage captured some of the teenagers jumping on top of a bus, smashing car windows, as well as some firing guns that dispersed the tourists. Two people were shot and a bus driver was assaulted. Several others were injured.
Johnson, who will be sworn in on May 15, made headlines when he said it was “not constructive to demonize young people who have otherwise been left without opportunities in their own communities.”
Outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the vast majority of people who showed up were there to enjoy the weather, but added that “there are a few who came with different intentions, and they have and they will be treated.”
Chicago has been struggling for years with its crime rate.
Last year, several businesses left the area, citing security concerns.
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Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, the richest man in Illinois and a mega-donor to the GOP, announced that his Citadel investment firm is moving to Miami after spending 30 years in Chicago. His decision came eight months after he gave a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago that he was considering moving because of crime and gave the city several months to change its statistics.
Boeing and Caterpillar have also moved to other cities as Chicago continues to struggle with its crime problem.