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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