Chicago Mayor On Trump’s Federal Goon Squads: ‘We’re Just Not Having That In Chicago’

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26: Chicago Mayor-Elect Lori Lightfoot attends the Hamilton: The Exhibition world premiere at Northerly Island on April 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said Thursday that she would not allow federal agents slated to be dispatched in her city in the coming days to repeat what’s happened amid protests in Portland.

“That is not going to happen in Chicago,” she said.

“We are not going to agree to or accept anything like what’s happening on the streets of Portland, Oregon,” Lightfoot told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist. “We’re not going to have unnamed federal agents patrolling our streets, pretending to be police, sweeping people off, and denying them of their constitutional rights. That is not going to happen in Chicago.” 

The remarks come after President Donald Trump formally announced Wednesday that the government would be deploying a “surge” of federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque amid attempts to roll out a message of law and order the President hopes can drown out failures to properly address the coronavirus pandemic and boost his re-election prospects.

The Chicago mayor has been a frequent critic of the President, becoming particularly vocal about her disapproval of Trump’s handling of social unrest following the police killing of George Floyd in May.

Earlier this week, Lightfoot threatened to sue the President, and on Monday she addressed a four-page letter to Trump in which she outlined various ways that the federal government was uniquely positioned to help fight crime in a city that has historically struggled with gun violence.

In the letter, Lightfoot said that addressing crime in Chicago  required genuine collaboration instead of further division — a tactic that has been a hallmark of the Trump administration’s attempts at race-baiting in recent weeks amid social unrest. 

Lightfoot said if the President really wanted to help Chicago, rather than “mocking the level of violence that challenges Chicagoans,” he should enact gun control legislation, do more to curb the coronavirus, partner with local law enforcement and offer support for community programs.

A mass shooting at a funeral Tuesday night left at least 15 people wounded on the city’s South Side. But Lightfoot said “the kind help that we need from the federal government we haven’t heard the president or anyone else talk about.” The Democratic mayor reissued a call made in her letter to the President Monday for  “common sense gun control.”

When pressed about concerns that federal agents may overstep the boundaries she said she has made clear to Trump, Lightfoot, who is a former assistant U.S. attorney, said she would not hesitate to seek a restraining order against noncompliant agents.

“We’re just not having that in Chicago,” Lightfoot said.

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Notable Replies

  1. Why don’t D city mayors pass ordinances requiring anyone who discharges control ordinance (tear gas, flash bangs, etc.) to have completed a certified crowd control training course in the city or state? Then, if the camoshirts use them, have the cops ask for their certification and arrest anyone who doesn’t have it.

  2. Avatar for mymy mymy says:

    Television is all that counts for our first two-dimensional president.

    Even this campaign stunt of sending the most doofus looking troops in “camo” into Portland and now other cities is just for television.

    And by the way–some of the helmets those “DHS troopers” wore had jungle camouflage, with plants sticking out of them. Any moviemaker would have laughed them out of their studio.

  3. Seems a bit roundabout. I have to think, although it’s just an assumption, that there are existing things a municipality can do when the feds set up shop and start policing on their own. It’s clearly not necessary, first of all. Second, it’s based on an executive order about federal property, statues and so forth, and you don’t roll up on people on some unremarkable city street and pull them into vans if that’s really your priority. It’s just so wildly illegitimate and shady I’m surprised there hasn’t been a nationally enforceable injunction against it already.

    ETA by the way I believe I read a couple days ago that the Portland fire department said the little green men can’t use their stations as staging areas. If that kind of thing is the readiest tool to hand, have at it.

  4. Avatar for grack grack says:

    You go to civil war with the gestapo you have. Not the gestapo you want. Or wish to have.

  5. The silence is defeaning and so complicit from the party of “states right”!

    Rethugs only support states right when it suits them or it’s from the red states!

    Very UnAmerican!

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