Appearing on a local cable news show on May 30, Lightfoot made the astonishing allegation that the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing rank-and-file officers, had instructed its members to be passive when dealing with crime over the Memorial Day weekend. “But you know,” she told interviewer Ken Davis, “there were rumors floating around about — and I didn’t verify this — but rumors floating around that they were telling their officers, ‘Don’t do anything. Don’t, over Memorial Day weekend, don’t intercede. If you see some criminal activity just lay back, do nothing.’ I hope to God that wasn’t true because, man, oh man, if that happened, there’s going to be a reckoning.”
There’s going to be a reckoning, all right, Madam Mayor, it just won’t be the one you thought it would be.
As Rudy Giuliani knew, and as Lori Lightfoot does not, it takes a motivated police force to take the steps necessary to drive down the level of violence seen in Chicago. “Cops count,” as William Bratton has preached for years, but in order for them to make a difference, they have to have the expectation that if they act within the law and department policy, their superiors and their city government will back them when controversy arises. Cops in Chicago have no such expectation, and it appears unlikely Mayor Lightfoot will even try to instill one.
Chicago’s last Republican mayor left office in 1931.