Black "Quiet Lives" Matter: No Protesting Allowed In Chicago Mayor's Neighborhood

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot responds to a question after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


To quote Doc Holliday — or at least the Val Kilmer version of him — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s “hypocrisy knows no bounds”.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Police Department is under orders from the Mayor’s Office that no protesters are allowed in the area of Logan’s Square where the Mayor lives.  The story says:

The directive surfaced in a July email from then-Shakespeare District Commander Melvin Roman to officers under his command. It did not distinguish between the peaceful protesters Lightfoot regularly says she supports and those who might intend to be destructive, but ordered that after a warning is given to demonstrators, “It should be locked down.”

Since the order, and even for a time just prior to its writing, Chicago cops have repeatedly blocked protesters’ access to the block with groups of officers and barricades. Police have often kept protesters contained at the nearby corner of Kimball and Wrightwood avenues, though one standoff between activists and officers last month saw police go as far as bringing in an armored vehicle in case things got out of hand.

Some of her neighbors are calling the area “Fort Lori”, and are angered by the fact that Chicago PD is often requiring ID checks before letting residents pass to get to their homes.

To justify this policy, Chicago Police officials point out that the Chicago Municipal Code prohibits protests in residential neighborhoods.  When asked to provide other examples of similar prohibitions enforced by Chicago PD against protesters in other residential neighborhoods, the only response give to the Tribune was “every situation is evaluated by the size of the protests and the available space.”


In a stunning statement reflecting an “Alice In Wonderland” view of recent Chicago history, and a stunning lack of self-awareness in the statement made, Chicago PD issued the following statement in defending the implementation of the policy:

“As with every planned protest in the city, [Chicago Police Department] implements safety measures and precautions to not only ensure protestors are abiding by the law but also to ensure both protestors and residents are protected and safe,” a spokesman said in a written statement.

So, THAT’s what this was last week:

So, the protection of Mayor Lightfoot’s neighborhood is just a continuation of the policies carried out last week in downtown Chicago.

But not all is well within Chicago PD with regard to the Mayor’s demands regarding her own neighborhood.

Aside from the expanded police presence to block protesters from reaching her home, Lightfoot already receives 24/7 protection from cops including officers stationed at the residence. The aggressive policing has sometimes siphoned away resources from the area’s police district, some sources with knowledge of the situation said, leading to quiet grumbling.

And it’s far from the first incident in which Lightfoot has changed the way Chicago PD provides protective services to her.

As mayor, Lightfoot has been especially security conscious. She broke with tradition by hiring former Deputy U.S. Marshal Jim Smith to lead her detail instead of using someone from the Police Department.

Then, earlier this summer, Lightfoot gave him leadership control over the Chicago police officers assigned to guard City Hall and her home.


In February, the Lightfoot administration reassigned the long-serving head of the Chicago Police Department’s City Hall detail hours after a group of activists made its way up to the lobby outside her fifth-floor office and staged a sit-in.

What this really expresses is an astonishing sense of “entitlement” on behalf of Mayor Lightfoot.  It is a blatant display of a belief that her life should not be burdened in the same manner that she so casually accepts the lives of others being burdened.

Frankly, I had no idea “Lori Lighfoot” even existed in the world until she started turning up in videos with the title “Chicago Mayer” under her name.  I don’t yet comprehend exactly what it is about her that made anyone think she’s cut out to be Mayor of the third-largest city in the nation.

In that respect, I guess Chicago is getting from her exactly what they should have expected.


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