[guest post by Dana]
This isn’t just being tone-deaf. This is a self-serving elected official essentially telling city residents that her family has more value than theirs, and they can just eat cake:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the Chicago Police Department’s ban on protesters being able to demonstrate on the block where she lives, telling reporters Thursday that she and her family at times require heightened security because of threats she receives daily.
Lightfoot refused to elaborate on the specific threats, but said she receives them daily against herself, her wife and her home. Comparisons to how the Police Department has protected previous mayors’ homes, such as Rahm Emanuel’s Ravenswood residence, are unfair because “this is a different time like no other,” Lightfoot told reporters.
“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.
…“I’m not going to make any excuses for the fact that, given the threats I have personally received, given the threats to my home and my family, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they’re protected,” Lightfoot said. “I make no apologies whatsoever for that.”
Lightfoot has been vocal in her support of protesters throughout the city but did condemn looters as they smashed windows and looted stores in tony Magnificent Mile. However, as far back as June, Chicago residents and city officials have been vocal in their complaints about a lack of protection during the protests and riots:
The arguments from Lightfoot and Brown did not appease a handful of aldermen, who argued Monday that Chicago needs 3,000 National Guardsmen — not the 375 summoned to Chicago by Gov. J.B. Pritzker — to protect neighborhoods under siege from looters.
Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and Ray Lopez (15th) made the request, arguing that deploying those National Guard troops to seal off the perimeter of the downtown area had left South and West side neighborhoods unprotected.
Brown countered 375 was an “adequate number.” Adding more than that could “cause more problems than solutions” and destroy the “fragile” trust that the Chicago Police Department is attempting to build with the African-American community, the superintendent said.
West Side Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, agreed “additional resources” are needed from the National Guard to restore order to Chicago neighborhoods.
“Totally closing off the Gold Coast and downtown to access — people in our communities felt as if they were not as important as downtown and the Gold Coast. That fueled a lot of the anger and a lot of the challenges and concerns that people have,” Ervin said.
“When the decision was made, it may have made some sense. But after the fact, it seems like it fueled peoples’ anger and angst about what was going on. This is one city. Everybody deserves the same level of protection as anybody else. Some people feel protected, and others don’t feel protected.”
Pressed on whether the city had a plan to protect Chicago neighborhoods, Ervin said, “I don’t know what they had. But whatever they had, it didn’t work.”