Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended the heavy police presence outside her home where protesters are being blocked, claiming she has a right to safety.
“Given the threats that I have personally received. Given the threats to my home and my family, I’m gonna do everything to make sure that they are protected. I make no apologies whatsoever for that,” the Democratic mayor said.
“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, according to the Chicago Tribune.
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.
Superintendent David Brown was asked for more details regarding a Tribune report on the police order to ban protesters from demonstrating on Lightfoot’s block in the Logan Square neighborhood, allowing officers to arrest anyone who refuses to leave.
Supt. David Brown noted that “protesting in neighborhoods is not legal,” referencing a law that declares residential picketing “inappropriate in our society.” According to that legislation people “have the right to quiet enjoyment of their homes; that the stability of community and family life cannot be maintained unless the right to privacy and a sense of security and peace in the home are respected and encouraged.”
The order did not distinguish between the peaceful protesters Lightfoot regularly says she supports and those who might intend to be destructive, but ordered that after a warning is given to demonstrators, “It should be locked down.”
Photos shared online show dozens of officers guarding her home and her block with barricades in fortress-like fashion.
Chicago Sun Times reported Lightfoot appears more preoccupied with her security issues than most. Even before the pandemic and recent protests the mayor posted officers in the lobby to screen people before they get on the elevators.
Police sources in the Shakespeare district say it has frequently been undermanned because so many officers from the district have been assigned to Lightfoot’s home. Officers from other districts have been brought in to cover for those manpower shortages in the Shakespeare district, according to the Chicago Sun Times report. .
According to Fox News “more than 100 people have been arrested in recent weeks after looting downtown on Aug. 10 that Lightfoot characterized as a “planned attack.” Officials said “car caravans full” of people stormed Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Irving North and Gold Coast neighborhoods that Sunday night.”
City officials were forced to shut down public transit and lift all bridges to downtown into the following morning.