Friday on MSNBC, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said while it was not a justification for the violence in her city, she believed the looters are exploiting the anger and frustration caused by President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response.
Guest-host Chris Jansing said, “First, let me ask you how your city is doing after the violence this past weekend?”
Lightfoot said, “Look. I think we’re seeing the same challenges in Chicago that we’ve seen across the country. Chicago was not the only city unfortunately, that was hit with looting. It happened in other places across the country. I think this is a challenging time for our country in general because of the continued concerns and response necessary for COVID-19. There’s a lot of anger. There’s a lot of frustration.”
She continued, “It absolutely never, never justifies the kind of criminal conduct we saw in our city and other cities on Sunday night. These are organized robbery crews. Certainly, there are people who are opportunistic, but the reality is we have to stand up and unite as a city and stand against this kind of bald criminal activity. I’ve been very direct with our law enforcement folks, particularly our prosecutors. We’ve got to bring these people out of the shadows and bring justice. There’s a lot of concern among equity and systematic racism that’s been happened for decades, but there’s never, ever a justification for criminal conduct. Looting is criminal conduct. Looting is stealing the business and dreams of business owners and employees, and we’re just not going to stand for it here in Chicago, period.”
She added, “We need a leader in the White House who understands the importance of cities to our country. We are the economic engine to our country. If we don’t have a leader who gets that and understands that and is going out of his way to support cities, not just with sending in the troops but understanding the importance of the economic vitality of our cities, our cities have been hit hard by economic downturn occasion by COVID-19. We’re still looking for support from the federal government to make sure that all of us can get through this on the other side and recover in the most robust way as possible and we’re not seeing the kind of leadership that we need from the White House to help our cities at a time of greatest need. We’re experiencing all over the country, not just Chicago depression-like economic conditions. Our businesses are crying out in pain. Our employees are on the street. Unemployment is going through the roof, we all know that, we see the numbers. We need a plan from Washington, D.C. that responds to the realities on the ground and cities like Chicago. So, yes, we need to continue this conversation around police reform, accountability, and racial justice, but we also need to frame that in the context of in larger economic downturn and the size of it and scale of it across the country can only properly be addressed by the federal government. It is depressing and frustrating that the Senate has gone home when people are starving for resources and cities like Chicago. We need our national leadership to stand up and stand tall in this moment, and make sure that we have an economic plan that deals with the realities and lifts us out of these depression-like conditions, and we have yet to see that happen,”
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