Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago takes down statues of Columbus, plans review of all monuments

Chicago takes down statues of Columbus, plans review of all monuments“This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said in a statement. Protesters for racial equality have targeted Columbus monuments across the United States, challenging heroic portrayals of him in American education that downplay or ignore the explorer’s cruelty toward indigenous people of the Americas.

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Chicago Cops Burglarized U.S. Rep’s Office as Protest Raged. They Made Popcorn, Drank Coffee, Napped.

Chicago Cops Burglarized U.S. Rep’s Office as Protest Raged. They Made Popcorn, Drank Coffee, Napped.As protests across Chicago devolved into chaos last week and residents started to loot nearby stores, police officers were making popcorn and drinking coffee while “lounging” inside Congressman Bobby Rush’s office, officials said in a stunning news conference on Thursday. Speaking alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Rush said at least 13 Chicago Police officers burglarized his South Side campaign office in the early hours of June 1 and were “relaxing” while nearby stores were being looted and burned, and their fellow officers were clashing with demonstrators. “They even had the unmitigated gall to make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave, while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight and within their reach,” Rush (D-IL) said. The incident, which Rush and Lightfoot said was captured on CCTV, showed the officers—and at least three supervisors—with feet up on desks. One officer “was asleep on my couch” while another “was on his cellphone,” Rush said. “They were in a mode of relaxation and did not care about what was happening. They did not care. They absolutely did not care,” Rush added.Rush’s office is located in a strip mall that had been looted for several hours that night. It wasn’t clear whether the office had already been damaged before the officers made their way in but Rush said he got a call that the premises had been burglarized and, when he finally got around to viewing the CCTV, he was horrified to see it filled with cops.The shocking news comes amid scrutiny of Chicago cops, who have been accused of using excessive force during protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the FBI are reviewing allegations that one Chicago officer pulled a woman from a car by her hair before placing a knee on her neck—a move similar to how Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Lightfoot, at times visibly angry and tearful during the Thursday press conference, said the officers “demonstrated a total disregard for their colleagues [and] for the badge” and should be held accountable. She said she and her team were “enraged” when they learned of the incident. None of the 13 officers has been identified, and she urged them to come forward before investigators find them. Calling it a “personal embarrassment,” Lightfoot offered an apology on behalf of the city, saying the officers had “abandoned” their obligations to keep the city safe. She said she would push for the state to pass a law requiring police officers to be licensed. “We should all be disgusted, and we should all feel hurt and betrayed in this moment, of all moments,” Lightfoot said, adding that the officers were inside Rush’s office, located in a shopping plaza that had been looted for about “four to five hours.”Chicago Police Supt. David Brown also condemned the officers’ actions, stating that he planned to hold them accountable and “uphold the nobility of this profession.” “If you sleep during a riot, what do you do during a regular shift when there is no riot?” Brown asked, before apologizing on behalf of the police department.Rush, the co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party, has been a member of Congress since 1993. The Democratic lawmaker has had a tense relationship with Lightfoot in the past, after Rush falsely accused her of being the Fraternal Order of Police’s preferred candidate in 2019. While he was campaigning for a Cook County Board president last year, Rush said those who vote for Lightfoot would have “the blood of the next young black man or black woman who is killed by the police” on their hands. Seemingly alluding to their history on Thursday, Lightfoot said that, despite their differences, she would work together with Rush against misconduct during a historical period of reckoning for the police. “We haven’t always agreed on every issue but today, we are in total alignment in our righteous anger and our steadfast determination, and I want to make sure that’s very clear,” Lightfoot said. “What I know of Congressman Rush is this—he has committed his life to calling out and fighting against injustice and this presents exactly one of those moments.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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Chicago mayor takes hard line fighting coronavirus outbreak

Chicago mayor takes hard line fighting coronavirus outbreakAs large American cities try various strategies to keep people home to limit the coronavirus’s spread, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has balanced a blend of stern — and occasionally scolding — news conferences with lighthearted social media to drive home her point. Lightfoot’s hard-line approach began with an exasperated announcement in March that she was shutting down lakefront trails, adjacent parks and other crowded public spaces after Chicagoans flocked there on a 70-degree weekday. “Your conduct — yours — is posing a direct threat to our public health,” Lightfoot chastised people spotted flouting social distancing orders.

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Mayor taps ex-Dallas chief to head Chicago police force

Mayor taps ex-Dallas chief to head Chicago police forceChicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday named former Dallas police Chief David Brown to head the police force in the nation’s third largest city, touting his humility and calling him “a leader who commands respect.” Lightfoot introduced Brown as the next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department during a news conference, saying he’s the right man for the job.

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