Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has banned protesters from congregating on the block where she lives, citing concerns for her safety. She defended the ruling, stating, “I have a right to make sure that my home is secure.”
While like all other Americans she certainly has a natural right to her person and property being protected from the violence of protests and riots, why aren’t the residents of Chicago afforded the same security?
Lightfoot has been a controversial figure in Chicago due to comments about the looting and violence that keeps breaking out there this summer during Black Lives Matter protests. While Lightfoot has openly supported the protests, she has criticized the riots.
In the aftermath of a particularly violent struggle between cops and rioters in July, she released a statement, saying,
Hundreds took to the streets yesterday to express their First Amendment right to protest. I unequivocally support and will always fight for the rights of individuals to peacefully protest on any issue… There is a dialogue that must be had to honestly confront the deeply ingrained history of racism and discrimination that has subjected Black, Indigenous and other communities of color in our city and our nation for too long… Unfortunately, last night, a portion of the protesters turned violent… These violent acts are unacceptable and put everyone at risk.
Despite strong criticisms of cops in general, she has praised the Chicago police and does not support defunding the police. She claims instead to support “reform,” which is not good enough for the local Black Lives Matter leaders. Due to her refusal to support disbanding the police despite paying protesters lip service, Lightfoot says threats are being made on her and her same-sex partner’s lives, which led her to ban protesters from gathering on her block. Anyone who disobeys the ban will be arrested.
Of course, it is a basic duty of government to protect people from violence in their own homes. Yet this is the reality for many in Chicago right now. The city is facing looting and rioting that, despite mass arrests, is largely remaining unchecked. Chicago just faced its most violent month in 28 years, as 107 people were murdered in July. Most of these unjust deaths resulted from shootings. Chicago has stringent gun restrictions on its books, but that hasn’t stopped criminals from obtaining or using weapons.
If Lightfoot can maintain a heavy police presence around her home at all times, maybe some of those 140 officers could be used to protect the residents of the city she was elected to lead. It is blatantly hypocritical for Lightfoot to allow her city to descend into turmoil and violence while she uses police to protect her while she fails to provide the same to the people she’s been elected to serve.