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Even as police in Chicago are stretched to their limit, Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot has allegedly ordered a continuous heavy police presence outside her home in Logan Square and banned protests on her block to protect herself and her family.
What are the details?
The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday that the city has effectively banned all protests on Lightfoot’s street, including peaceful ones, even as elsewhere in the city protests have been allowed to continue and openly supported by the mayor.
According to an email sent by the district’s commander at the time, officers assigned to enforce the directive were instructed to tell protesters “that it is against the city code and state law to protest” and that they must “leave immediately.”
After the warning is given, the street “should be locked down,” the instructions added.
In order to carry out the orders, a large contingent of officers have been routinely stationed outside the home. Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara told the Chicago Sun-Times that as many as 140 officers have been assigned to the home at certain times.
One of Lightfoot’s neighbors came up with the name “Fort Lori” to describe the scene.
“Maybe she should move into a high-rise downtown where you can put like 20 officers at the front of the building if need be,” Catanzara suggested, adding, “I get the family safety, but you picked this job.”
“What about all of the officers who are getting projectiles thrown at ’em, fireworks shot at ’em? It’s the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mentality,” he continued.
Catanzara is not the only one who has taken some offense at the action. The Tribune noted that the order, which siphons away police resources from other areas to protect the mayor’s neighborhood has led to “some quiet grumbling” within the police department.
Lightfoot defended the move Thursday, telling reporters, “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.”
“We have a right in our home to live in peace,” she added.
The mayor did not elaborate on the threats but said: “Suffice it to say that, every single day, there is something that pops up. There are specific threats to my person, to my wife and to our home.”
She also denied the claim that “hundreds” of police were stationed near her home, but said that “sufficient resources” are assigned when a threat is established.
The order to ban protests near Lightfoot’s home comes as violence and riots rage in the city and Chicago police officers are resigning or retiring in record numbers.