Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing major criticism after she agreed to allowing federal agents in the city.
According to 5Chicago, hundreds of protestors gathered near her Logan Square home on Thursday night. Similar to demands across the country, they demanded the defunding of the Chicago Police Department. Folks on social media also posted videos of the demonstrations while pointing out that Lightfoot agreed to let federal agents into Chicago as a way to combat the city’s gun violence.
“Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot agreed to let feds into Chicago. So this is the scene outside her house tonight,” one user wrote along with a video of protestors singing the Y.G. song “FDT” which stands for “F*ck Donald Trump.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lightfoot, at first, threatened to sue Donald Trump if he attempted to send federal agents into Chicago without her permission. However, on Tuesday, she acknowledged that the city would work with federal agents to fight crime. The mayor changed her tone after speaking with U.S. Attorney John Lausch, a former colleague who assured her that an influx of law enforcement would work “collaboratively” with Chicago police against crime.
Lightfoot said that Chicago is expected to receive resources that will connect with already existing federal agencies working with the city, including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Lightfoot still argued that she won’t put too much trust in the White House and Trump, who she’s had public spats with before.
“I sent a letter to the president yesterday outlining various ways in which, if he really wanted to partner with us, that he could do so. There are some things the federal government is uniquely qualified to handle. We would welcome that,” Lightfoot said. “What we do not welcome, and what we will not tolerate, and we will fight against is the deployment of unnamed federal special secret agents onto our streets to detain people without cause and effectively take away their civil rights and their civil liberties without due process. That is not going to happen in Chicago, and if we see that, the minute we see it, we will be rushing into court to stop that from happening.”
Despite Lightfoot’s claims that this will be a “partnership” with federal agents, some citizens and progressives of Chicago are still clearly angry. In City Council, Democratic Socialist Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez asserted, “We need to oppose the presence of federal agents in Chicago, specially during such a critical time where people are taking the streets to demand justice. Our duty as a city is to protect them, not throw the (T)rump police at them.”
Lightfoot didn’t specify how many agents were coming to Chicago and from which agencies in her news conference. However, an official who’s privy to the situation said on Tuesday that the Trump administration plans to send 150 agents to the city, with around 75 coming from Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) and the rest coming from federal agencies, according to the Tribune.
Federal agents being dispatched comes at a time when cities across the country are calling for the police to be defunded while local funds be redistributed towards community resources like violence intervention programs, housing and healthcare.
The protest near Lightfoot’s home on Thursday night was planned by the organizing groups Blck Rising and Good Kids Mad City. In a flyer for the protest, Blck Rising listed demands like “75% of CPD Budget go back into communities.”
Videos of the protest on social media showed people dancing and playing music near Lightfoot’s home. At one point, protestor even did the “Cha Cha Slide” and played “YMCA” while screaming “f*ck CPD”. Check out the scene below.
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