Chicago Mayor Threatens Arrests for Ignoring Stay-At-Home Orders

Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a stern warning to residents who failed to comply with stay-at-home orders and held parties instead: “We will take you to jail, period.”

“I’m not playing. Stay home (your own home). Save lives,” Lightfoot tweeted along with a video of her statement Saturday.

“Now I’ve directed Superintendent Brown to order all police districts to give special attention to these parties. And this is how it’s going to be,” Lightfoot said. “We will shut you down, we will cite you and if we need to, we will arrest you and we will take you to jail. Period. There should be nothing unambiguous about that.”

“Don’t make us treat you like a criminal,” Lightfoot continued. “But if you act like a criminal and you violate the law and you refuse to do what is necessary to save lives in the city the middle of a pandemic, we will take you to jail. Period.”

Lightfoot sent her warning in a news conference Saturday near the site of a house party planned that night in the East Garfield Park neighborhood.

When  Lightfoot finished her news conference, she yelled at local teens hanging out in a parking lot across the street to go home, prompting a response from some who suggested she “go home.”

Lightfoot has been accused of not following her own rules, she sparked an uproar for getting an at-home haircut and taking a photo with her stylist earlier in April after urging Chicagoans to “save lives” by following social distancing guidelines. Lightfoot defended the apparent double standard.

“I’m the public face of this city and you know, I’m a person who [takes] personal hygiene very seriously and I felt like I needed to have a haircut. So I got a haircut,” she said.

Lightfoot’s recent statements appear to be in stark contrast to her statements in February when she said she was “very disappointed” in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President Trump for fanning the flames of fear about the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, and essentially accused the federal officials of fear-mongering.

Referring to Chinatown restaurants suffering a dramatic decline in business tied to coronavirus fears, the last thing Chicago needs is a premature alarm from federal officials, the Chicago mayor said.

“I will candidly tell you that I was very disappointed with the comments of the CDC yesterday and members of the Trump administration around coronavirus,”

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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