Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Tells Alderman He’s ‘100 Percent Full of S***’ After Describing Ward as a War Zone
Alderman: “Well, f*ck you then.”
Earlier today I blogged about Chicago having its deadliest day in 60 years. The city saw 18 murders in 24 hours on May 31.
On that same day, Mayor Lori Lightfoot met with Chicago officials to discuss the mass riots and looting across the city in response to George Floyd’s death.
While Lightfoot raged against the chaos, she also told one alderman he was “100 percent full of shit” when he described his ward as a “virtual war zone.”
WTTW posted the audio on June 1, but it’s just now making the rounds. I’m guessing it’s because aldermen are still ticked at Lightfoot.
Alderman Raymond Lopez:
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) demanded that Lightfoot develop a plan to stabilize Chicago’s neighborhoods for five days, calling his Southwest Side ward “a virtual war zone” where gang members armed with AK-47’s were threatening to shoot black people.
The call came to a screeching halt when Lightfoot declined to address the substance of Lopez’s remarks, and Lopez demanded that she respond.
Lightfoot told Lopez he was “100% full of s–t.”
“Well, f–k you then,” Lopez responded.
“I understand you want to preen,” Lightfoot told Lopez.
As aldermen objected, Lopez continued to speak.
“Mayor you need to check your f—–g attitude,” Lopez said.
Alderman Michelle Harris:
The recording begins with Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward) wondering how she could convince businesses like Walmart and CVS to rebuild on the South Side after the destruction.
“It’s like, what are we going to have left in our community?” Harris asks her colleagues before answering herself. “Nothing.”
“I feel like I am at ground zero,” Harris responded. “My major business district is shattered. Why would Walmart or CVS come back to our communities?”
Alderman Pat Dowell:
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) said she felt helpless to protect older residents, who she said were struggling to buy food and get prescription medicine.
“I’ve worked really hard over the last seven years and now I feel like I am five feet back,” Dowell said.
Alderman Susan Sadlowski-Garza:
Ald. Susan Sadlowski-Garza (10th Ward) broke down while pleading with Lightfoot for help.
“My ward is a s–t show,” Sadlowski-Garza said, adding that cop cars and banks were burned. “They are shooting at the police.”
Sadlowski-Garza began to cry as she said the unrest began about 11 a.m. Sunday, when a group of 40 people broke into a marijuana dispensary, but had nothing to do with a protest.
“I have never seen the likes of this,” Sadlowski-Garza said. “I’m scared.”
Alderman Mike Rodriguez:
Ald. Mike Rodriguez (22nd Ward) told the mayor that Little Village residents banded together to protect businesses along 26th Street, the largest shopping district outside the Loop.
“I’m talking about all segments of our community, including some on this call would prefer to be incarcerated,” Rodriguez said. “I think there are people of all stripes coming together, and I pray that holds tonight.”
That exchange prompted Lopez to charge that Lightfoot knew that gangs were part of efforts to protect neighborhoods, and that Rodriguez was working with them.
Lightfoot called that charge “ridiculous.”
Alderman Derrick Curtis called 911, but no one answered. Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson worried people would target homes. Alderman Ed Burke worried residents might take matters into their own hands.
Lightfoot acknowledged the looting “is a massive, massive problem” and described the people as “f*cking lawless right now.”
She shot back at criticism that she favored downtown Chicago over the West and South sides:
Lightfoot begins by defending her response to the unrest, telling the aldermen that criticism that she protected downtown at the expense of the West and South sides “offends me deeply, personally, in part because it is simply not so.”
“We’ve been working our a– off,” Lightfoot said. “It is all over the city.”
Lightfoot said it took three hours for officers to clear the area near Madison Street and Pulaski Road, and even after officers “gassed [the crowd] with pepper spray twice, they didn’t give a s–t.”
Lightfoot said officers were in “armed combat” with those intent on committing crimes on the West Side only making progress after bringing in “heavy equipment and stronger pepper spray.”
Lightfoot said a crowd of 30-40 people gathered outside a clothing store near 111th Street and Michigan Avenue as a “dude with a sledgehammer” broke into the store to allow it to be looted.
“I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen s–t like this before, not in Chicago,” Lightfoot said.
The officials begged Lightfoot to bring in the National Guard, but she refused. She retorted that “they are not a magic tool, they are military.” She also claimed they “made things worse, ‘not better,'” in other cities.
Lightfoot eventually caved later in the day when she asked Gov. JB Pritzker to deploy Illinois National Guard soldiers.
CBS 2 reporter Dana Kozlov checked in with the aldermen a week later. Is anyone shocked they’re still angry with Lightfoot?
Alderman Anthony Beale:
“People are still furious,” Beale said.
Beale’s Far South Side ward, which includes Pullman and Roesland, was hit hard. He is still angry too.
“The lack of response was just totally ridiculous,” Beale said. “They were calling, they were calling, and they couldn’t get help. I was calling, trying to get resources couldn’t get help.”
And he blames the mayor.
“We were totally dismissed,” Beale said.
Beale expects more people to voice their displeasure with Lightfoot and other officials in her administration:
“When you look at the first vote against the administration, there was only 11 dissent votes, but now we’re at 21,” Beale said. “That shows that there’s a growing concern of the way that this city is going, and it’s not going in the right direction.”
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