Chicago Mayor Bans Protests Outside Her Own Home, Orders Police to Arrest Violators
Cops ordered to crackdown on protesters but only on Lori Lightfoot's block
Chicago's radical-left Democrat mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has banned protests outside her home and ordered the city's police to arrest violators, according to reports.
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is under orders to ban protesters from gathering on the block where Mayor Lightfoot lives and force demonstrators to leave the area, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"The directive surfaced in a July email from then-Shakespeare District Commander Melvin Roman to officers under his command,” the newspaper writes.
"It did not distinguish between the peaceful protesters Lightfoot regularly says she supports and those who might intend to be destructive, but ordered that after a warning is given to demonstrators, ‘It should be locked down'.
CPD has been blocking access to the area using police in riot gear and set up barricades.
While cutting off their access to Lightfoot’s block, cops have also been containing protests in nearby areas, but not clearing the protesters.
“I came up with the name ‘Fort Lori’ because it’s so hard to get in and out,” Ron Kaminecki, a 69-year old patent attorney who lives a few houses from Lightfoot, told the paper.
In response to questions from the Tribune, police said state law and the city’s code prohibit protests in residential areas.
“CPD remains committed to facilitating First Amendment rights, while also protecting public safety,” police spokeswoman Margaret Huynh said in a statement.
"CPD continues to enforce state law and the City’s municipal code regarding public assembly.
“The block is open at this time.”
Lightfoot told reporters on Thursday that she and her family have been receiving threats daily.
“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said.
The mayor would not divulge the threats.
The ACLU of Illinois told the paper that a single residence can be protected, but it’s not clear how far that ban can extend.
“The Supreme Court has found that the government can prohibit protests at a single home in a residential area, but that does not necessarily extend to the entire block,” ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka said in a statement.
“The right to free speech and peaceable assembly includes the right to choose one’s audience, and government actions that limit that right for the sake of residential privacy must be narrowly tailored to protect that interest.”
Lightfoot is not the only politician who has banned protests near their own residence, according to The Daily Wire.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has allowed protests to occur, but not in his own front yard.
“What I cannot defend is any neighborhood in our city — and their residents and families — being disturbed through the night and morning, and a peaceful protest devolving into unacceptable conduct in which residents are being harassed and threatened,” Peduto said, according to CBS-Pittsburgh.
"This crosses a line that cannot be allowed to continue, causing those committing crimes against residents to face possible legal consequences for their actions."