Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed agreement with President Trump’s plan to deploy federal police to the city during a Wednesday evening phone call with the president, according to the mayor’s office.
Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to send 200 officers to Chicago, which recorded an abnormally high number of shootings over the past two months, to quell the surging. The unrest in Chicago differs in kind from that in Portland, Ore., which has seen continuous rioting and destruction of city and federal property over the same period.
Lightfoot had previously rejected the deployment of federal police in Chicago, writing on Twitter on Tuesday, “Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.”
Trump “reached out to Mayor Lightfoot this evening to confirm that he plans to send federal resources to Chicago to supplement ongoing federal investigations pertaining to violent crime,” the mayor’s office said on Wednesday in a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Mayor Lightfoot maintains that all resources will be investigatory in nature and be coordinated through the U.S. Attorney’s office. The Mayor has made clear that if there is any deviation from what has been announced, we will pursue all available legal options to protect Chicagoans.”
Federal officers drew media criticism after demonstrators in Portland reported being grabbed off the street by unidentified federal law enforcement and brought to other locations. DHS head Chad Wolf has said the officers were in fact identifiable and has criticized demonstrators as “rioters” and “anarchists.”
The deployment of federal police in the city will be overseen by U.S. Attorney John Lausch, whom Lightfoot knows from her tenure as a former federal prosecutor.
“This is not patrol. This is not against civil unrest,” Lausch said. “This is working with the Chicago Police Department to do what we can to reduce the staggering violent crime we’re facing right now.”
Even after the announcement, Lightfoot said on Thursday that “The president has been on a campaign now for some time against Democratic mayors across the country.”
During riots that followed the death of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers, Chicago city council members criticized Lightfoot for refusing to deploy the National Guard outside the city’s business district.
“My ward is a s–t show,” complained Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski-Garza in a conference call. “They are shooting at the police. I have never seen the likes of this. I’m scared.”
Alderman Raymond Lopez, a frequent critic of Lightfoot, said his district was ‘“a virtual war zone,” to which Lightfoot responded Lopez was “100 percent full of s–t.”
“Well, f–k you then,” Lopez shot back. “Mayor you need to check your f—–g attitude.”