It’s no secret that Chicago has seen more than its fair share of troubles from all of the recent racial unrest. In addition to all of the COVID-19 deaths and record-breaking incidents of shootings, the Windy City has seen massive looting and the destruction of businesses and private property. All of this crime led to a private conference call between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and all fifty of the city’s Aldermen. At least it was supposed to be private.But after the conversation turned heated with plenty of expletives flying around, one of the Alderman decided to leak out a recording they made of portions of the call to the press. This led the Mayor to accuse them of “illegally” recording the call and the finger-pointing only got worse from there. (CBS Chicago)
Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused an unnamed alderman of breaking the law by recording a private conference call between herself and the City Council, and leaking a foul-mouthed exchange to the media.
During a conference call with all 50 aldermen on May 31 to discuss the city’s response to widespread looting, Lightfoot and Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) traded profanities when he accused the city of being ill-prepared for the violence, and expressed concerns looters could start targeting homes…
Lightfoot did not answer Lopez’s questions in the call, prompting an angry exchange.
“It’s not something you ignore. This is a question that I have,” Lopez said. That’s when the call turned profane.
You can listen to the recording of the call at the link if you wish. While it should go without saying, I’ll include the standard warning about potentially offensive language. It drags on for a bit more than four minutes after the infighting begins.
Mayor Lightfoot is blaming Alderman Lopez of the 15th Ward for the leak, which I suppose is possible, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense since he was flinging the obscenities faster and at a higher temperature than the Mayor. But to be fair to him, Lightfoot actually broke the protocol for civil discourse first.
Lopez was making what sounded like a series of very valid observations about what’s been going on in the city and asking for a new plan and additional resources to handle the violence. He mentions the areas that have already been looted and burned by criminals, noting that he has “gang-bangers with AK-47s walking around right now looking for some payback.” He then mentions his concerns that once all of the businesses have been looted, the rioters will move into the neighborhoods and begin breaking into residences.
Lightfoot thanks him for his comments and attempts to move on to the next speaker, but Lopez jumps back in and says the city can’t ignore these threats and he wasn’t just making a comment. He expected an answer. That’s when Mayor Lightfoot tells him that she thinks he’s “100% full of s**t.” At that point, Lopez responds by saying, “Well, f*** you, then. Who are you to tell me I’m full of s***t?” The call then devolves into a solid two minutes of shouting and cursing before some of the other Ward leaders finally convince them to calm down and get back on track.
The fact that portions of the call were leaked is kind of a shame. During a crisis like this, it seems imperative that the City Council and the Mayor be able to have candid conversations, address questions and develop solutions. Not every word uttered in that process needs to be dumped out into the public eye (or ear, in this case). As long as there is transparency about what’s being done, they would at least be doing their jobs. I can only imagine that some of the Aldermen will be less open about participating in such sessions if they know that the calls are being recorded.
They’re going to need to find a way to get past this quickly. Downtown Chicago is a mess. Lopez correctly described his own Ward as “a war zone.” Despite the best efforts of most of the MSM to describe the “mostly peaceful protests” taking place everywhere, things are going off the rails in the Windy City. And if you listen to that full excerpt from the call, the City Council is admitting that they don’t have enough police or National Guardsmen to hold the line. You can call it a “protest” all you like, but Chicago is quickly devolving into Mad Max territory.