Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing criticism from an outraged city after she devoted personal attention to clearing a beach party from the lakefront but could not stop looters from ransacking the Magnificent Mile and other retail districts.
On Saturday, Lightfoot tweeted a photograph of a gathering near Lake Michigan, featuring a large group of shirtless, swimsuit-clad men enjoying the sun at Montrose Beach, near the city’s LGBTQ-friendly Boystown neighborhood.
It's called a pandemic, people. This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don't make us take steps backwards. pic.twitter.com/FHxeYfH7Wf
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 8, 2020
Lightfoot commented angrily: “It’s called a pandemic, people. This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don’t make us take steps backwards.”
An hour and a half later, Lightfoot added that she had personally overseen the clearing of the party:
In case you were wondering, I stopped by to see for myself. It’s being addressed.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 9, 2020
Later, the city put up a fence to discourage future such gatherings:
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) August 9, 2020
On Sunday evening, a caravan of looters struck downtown and other areas after police shot and wounded a suspect who had fired at them first during a pursuit on the South Side of Chicago. Social media posts called for looting to begin, police said Monday.
Though the Chicago Police Department had moved officers downtown, they could not stop most of the looting.
Critics accused the mayor of having misplaced priorities:
Mayor Lightfoot is scheduled to address the looting in a press conference at 8 a.m.
Earlier this morning, Alderman Brian Hopkins told us:
"The Mayor needs to address the city. Enough breaking up parties on the beach. That isn't our problem right now" pic.twitter.com/D4thxkQNqo
— Sarah Jindra (@SarahJindra) August 10, 2020
I love women in leadership (especially minorities) but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is a disaster. In the same weekend: a shooting involving police/citizens; rioters cause millions in damages downtown; she shuts down a gay party on Montrose Beach… enough. Citizens are scared.
— VF (@TheVFCastro) August 10, 2020
At least they weren't a bunch of gay people relaxing at the beach or Lori Lightfoot would have made a big public spectacle on Twitter about it https://t.co/jdEsCSmESK
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 10, 2020
Lightfoot later told reporters that she had “a very robust plan” to protect the city from further looting. She told reporters that she and the governor would not be calling out the National Guard, and did not need President Donald Trump’s help.
“We do not need federal troops in Chicago. Period. Full stop,”
Trump should, she said, focus on gun control instead.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.