Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) barked at a journalist Monday for simply repeating what Police Chief David Brown said moments earlier – namely that looters are emboldened by the city’s lax response.
Chief Brown: “These looters, these thieves, these criminals are emboldened by no consequences in the criminal system. They get released. Many charges get dropped. And so they feel emboldened to do it more, do it more. That is not a consequence of the officers’ not making the arrests. The officers are making the arrests. The consequences are once prosecution and sentencing comes up, there’s no consequences. So we would argue that let’s have the criminal justice system here deliver a strong message to these criminals that there will be consequences for your behavior.”
Reporter: “It almost sounds as though you’re saying this is… the reason this happens is that the courts and the prosecutors were not doing their job. That they were going too easy on the looters from the last time around.”
Chief Brown: “Don’t take it from me, just go by what’s been done. There were no consequences for the people arrested.”
Mayor Lightfoot: “Don’t bait us. Do not bait us. Do not bait us. This is a serious situation. People are concerned about their safety. Officers are concerned about their safety. So don’t bait us. What we’re saying is, as a result of what happened last night there have to be consequences. We’ve got teams of people that are aggressively out there, identifying the people responsible, looking at the plates, and we’re going to bring them to justice. But when we do, and we do make those arrests, our expectation is that this is going to be treated with the level of seriousness that it should be. Period. Don’t try to bait us, mischaracterize, pittin’ one against the other, we’re not playin’ that. We are in a serious situation here, and we need a serious response. That’s what we’re sayin’ period.”
Reporter: “I’m not trying to bait you ma’am.”