Six Arrested for Protesting Near Chicago Mayor's Home
Lori Lightfoot banned protests in her own neighborhood, ordered police crackdown
Six protesters were arrested near Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's home on Sunday after she banned protests from taking place in her own neighborhood.
As Neon Nettle reported Friday, the city's radical-left Democrat mayor ordered the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to ban protesters from gathering on the block where she lives and force demonstrators to leave the area, arresting those who refuse to comply, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"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'.
Lightfoot banned these allegedly peaceful protests from coming into her neighborhood, claiming she had received threats and that she had “a right to make sure that my home is secure.”
The rest of Chicago's residents don’t seem to have that right, however.
Six people were arrested in Lightfoot’s Logan Square block for failing to disperse after police asked them, according to The Daily Wire.
The protesters were arrested for “misdemeanor residential picketing,” WGN9 reported.
None of the six arrested were actual Chicago or even Illinois residents; three were from various cities in New York, one was from Pennsylvania, another from Arkansas, and the sixth was from Seattle.
Police told WGN9 they had given the protesters a verbal warning that was ignored, leading to their arrests.
The Chicago Police Department banned protesters from the Logan Square block – where Mayor Lightfoot lives.
Police told the Chicago Tribune that state law, as well as city code, prohibits protesting in residential areas.
"CPD remains committed to facilitating First Amendment rights, while also protecting public safety,” police spokeswoman Margaret Huynh said in a statement published by the paper.
"CPD continues to enforce state law and the City’s municipal code regarding public assembly.
“The block is open at this time.”
Lightfoot later told reporters that her family had received numerous threats, which is why she deserved the protection while residents in other neighborhoods and business owners have had to deal with rioters.
“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 at the time.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois told the Tribune that it might not be legal for police to protect the entire block where Lightfoot lives.
“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 to the paper.
“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.
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."