As Jazz pointed out earlier today, progressive mayors seem to suddenly have a change of heart about protesters when they show up at their own homes. That appears to be the case in Chicago as well. The Chicago Tribune got hold of a police directive preventing protesters from gathering outside Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home or, in fact, anywhere on her street. Police have literally been checking ID’s for anyone who tries to enter the street where the mayor lives. One neighbor dubbed it “Fort Lori.”
The Chicago Police Department has effectively banned protesters from demonstrating on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s block in the Logan Square neighborhood, ordering officers to arrest anyone who refuses to leave, the Tribune has learned…
Some neighbors in the Logan Square area have complained about the city’s approach to protests around Lightfoot’s house, which at times has included checking residents’ IDs before letting them close. Ron Kaminecki, a 69-year old patent attorney and bike shop owner who lives on Bernard Street a few houses from Lightfoot, said some neighbors have been frustrated by the police presence and barricades.
“I came up with the name ‘Fort Lori’ because it’s so hard to get in and out,” Kaminecki said.
Another neighbor told the Tribune that as many as 50 officers stationed within a few blocks of the Mayor’s house on some occasions this summer. In addition to the police who are guarding the entire block, Mayor Lightfoot also has a personal police security detail:
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…
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.
Think for a moment about the McCloskeys who have been charged for stepping outside their own home with weapons when a large crowd of protesters showed up. How is what Mayor Lightfoot is doing different? Other than the fact that she’s having the police carry the guns for her the outcome doesn’t seem that different, i.e. armed people telling protesters to go away or else.
Asked about the security arrangements during a press conference today, Mayor Lightfoot said they were justified because of the threats she receives on a daily basis.
“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said.
How does the protection of Lightfoot’s home compare to that of previous mayors? Lightfoot said it wasn’t a fair comparison because, “this is a different time like no other.”
I’m sure the mayor does get plenty of threats just as I’m sure previous mayors of the city did also. What’s galling about this is that the entire city really is struggling with rising violent crime rates, riots and the pandemic. But it seems Mayor Lightfoot is first and foremost concerned about using the city’s police for her own safety. Everyone else’s safety appears to come in a distant second.