Report: Chicago dismisses numerous red-light camera tickets against Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail

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CHICAGO, IL- According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the city of Chicago has dismissed the majority of tickets that were issued to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail by red-light and speed cameras.

Some of these “dismissed” tickets were recorded at times when the mayor was scheduled to be attending “non-city” events. City officials would not address specific questions about her whereabouts at the time each ticket was issued.

However, listings in her official calendar show some were given at times when her calendar suggested she was on the way home from a personal event or en route to a “non-city breakfast.”

Allegedly, four were issued at a time when her official calendar did not note her scheduled whereabouts or it indicated “rest” and another said she was supposed to be attending a “virtual gala.”

Reportedly, since Lightfoot became mayor back in May 2019, her police security detail that was assigned to her has received 13 tickets for speed and red-light camera violations. Ten of those have been dismissed.

Fox News 32 reported that the city defended the ticket dismissals, claiming that the mayor’s two-vehicle security team must try to stick together at all times.

A city spokeswoman said:

“The Chicago Police Department’s mayoral security detail is responsible for protecting the Mayor and her family at all times of the day. When traveling, this security detail is a two-car team, a lead car, and a tail car, that is trained to stay together at all times for the safety and protection of the Mayor.”

She added:

“Any and all red-light violations and speeding tickets dismissed by the City were done so when the tail car following the lead car became separated or in conjunction with City’s policies and practices when it comes to law enforcement vehicles.”

However, some dismissed tickets were allegedly on vehicles assigned to officers who were not driving the lead or tail car. Most of the tickets issued to Lightfoot’s security detail from the city’s cameras are red-light violations, but records show Lightfoot’s administration dismissed three tickets where officers were going more than 11 mph over the speed limit.

Lightfoot officials have not answered regarding who is responsible for paying the remaining tickets. When Lightfoot was a candidate, she criticized the red-light camera system, claiming that the tickets fell disproportionately to minorities. 

Alderman Anthony Beale said in a statement:

“If the law shows they went through the light unjustly, they need to pay the ticket. You can’t have different standards for the people than for yourself.”

Reportedly, drivers caught on camera going ten mph above the speed limit now face a $35 ticket. The fine is larger if the speed exceeds ten mph above the limit. Lightfoot wants to change this and give warnings to drivers caught going between six mph and nine mph above the limit. A second offense on camera would mean a $35 ticket in the mail.

On Tuesday, November 24th, Chicago aldermen approved Lightfoot’s $12.8 billion 2021 budget, which relies on boosting city revenue by raising property taxes, fines and fees at a time when many Chicagoans are struggling to make ends meet thanks to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under this new plan and budget, Lightfoot’s plan of the warning followed by the ticket in the mail would be executed. A spokesman for the Transportation Department recently said the city has not yet set a start date for when the six mph standard will go into effect.

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Revealed: Chicago police ban protests on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s block – she says she deserves to be safe

August 20, 2020

CHICAGO, IL- Remember this…there are two sets of rules. One for the ruling class—and one for the servants—you know the regular old taxpaying residents.

Let’s go back to last week when rioting thugs looted stores in the downtown Million Mile area of the city? Remember that? Yeah, we do too. So, while thugs were cleaning out stores in Chicago, where were police resources being allocated to?

How about the neighborhood where the “ruling class” in Chicago lives. And while Chicago’s mayor gives cover to violent protests in other parts of the city, the Chicago Police have banned protesters from demonstrating in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s neighborhood.

The hypocrisy in Chicago knows no bounds.

Do you remember back at the beginning of April, when Lightfoot was producing public service announcements admonishing residents of the city to stay at home and obey executive orders in order to flatten the curve, in fact saying “getting your roots done is not essential?

Do you remember when Mayor Lightfoot violated her own order and got a haircut because, as she said, “I’m the public face of the city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye?” Yeah, we do.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago PD have effectively prohibited protesters from exercising their “right to ‘peaceful’ protests” [as Lightfoot and other Democrats have referred to them] in her Logan Square neighborhood.

 The Tribune reported that a directive was discovered from a July email sent by then-Shakespeare District Commander Melvin Roman to officers assigned to his district.

The email did not differentiate between so-called “peaceful” protesters and those given to violence. Since the demonstrations began at the end of May, Lightfoot has expressed support to protesters, including those who tended to be destructive.

She did say that after protesters had been warned, “it should be locked down,” presumably meaning the demonstrations.

Hypocrisy doesn’t just occur in Chicago, as we have seen politicians such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio cut over $1 billion from the police budget, but then direct NYPD officers to guard “murals” paying tribute to a group that wants to eliminate them, both fiscally as well as wanting them dead, Black Lives Matter.

In Los Angeles, a city councilman who has voted to cut millions from the LAPD budget has called the department eight times in the last month or two to deal with alleged threats.

In Chicago, officers have worked to block protesters access to Lightfoot’s block, both with groups of officers as well as barricades. Police have contained protesters in a specific area just outside the block, however as the Tribune reported, one standoff last month resulted in police bringing in an armored vehicle in the event things got out of hand.

Residents who live in Lightfoot’s Logan Square neighborhood have railed against the city’s approach in that area, complaining that police check IDs prior to letting residents into the area to their homes.

One such resident, Ron Kaminecki, a 69-year-old attorney who also owns a bicycle shop expressed the frustration that some have been feeling due to the constant police presence as well as the barricades.

“I came up with the name ‘Fort Lori’ because it’s so hard to get in and out,” he said.

Last Friday, dozens of protesters were sent back out of the area after trying to march to Lightfoot’s home to protest in support of an initiative to remove Chicago police officers from the city’s schools.

According to the police department and upon questions from the Tribune, officials said that both state law and Chicago’s municipal code prohibit protests in residential areas.

“CPD remains committed to facilitating First Amendment rights, while also protecting public safety. CPD continues to enforce state law and the City’s municipal code regarding public assembly,” said  in a statement.

“The block is open at this time.”

When asked to identify instances where the city’s residential protest ban was enforced not including those near Lightfoot’s house, Huynh said, “every situation is evaluated by the size of the protests and the available space,” however she could not or would not provide any examples.

One of Lightfoot’s neighbors who has lived in the area for three years said that he personally didn’t see anything with the protests. He noted that at times this summer there have been as many as 50 police officers within two blocks of Lightfoot’s house.

The visual of that, I think could strike a person as kind of chilling,” he said, refusing to divulge his name for privacy reasons the Tribune said. “Seeing such a strong police presence, I would say it can feel intimidating, whether or not it’s intended that way,” he told the paper.

As to Lightfoot, she’s “important,” remember? She said that due to alleged threats she “receives daily,” she and her family need increased security.

While she refused to elaborate on specific threats, she said that she receives them daily against herself, her wife, and her home. She told the Tribune that attempts to compare her protection by the Chicago PD to that of former mayor Rahm Emanuel were not legitimate, because “this is a different time like no other,” Lightfoot told reporters.

“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,” she said.

Lightfoot, along with Chicago police Superintendent David Brown were being questioned by reporters at an unrelated news conference about Chicago police being stationed in her neighborhood to ban protesters from access to her home, with orders to arrest anyone who refused to leave.

According to the paper, neither city activists nor police sources could identify instances where the city blocked access to Emanuel’s residence. Likewise, when former President Obama and his family live in the city, access to his home was not shut down until after he was elected president.

Lightfoot once again had an excuse, saying that any such comparisons “don’t make any sense,” with Brown identifying the coronavirus pandemic and the civil unrest following George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“I’m not going to make any excuses for the fact that, given the threats I have personally received, given the threats to my home and my family, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they’re protected,” Lightfoot said. “I make no apologies whatsoever for that.”

Some police sources complain that the expanded police presence in Lightfoot’s neighborhood draws valuable police resources away from other areas within the district.

Brown said that police have allowed some “leeway” with some demonstrations, however he also said that some “peaceful” protests have been “hijacked” by troublemakers, which he gave as a reason for keeping demonstrators off of Lightfoot’s block.

“We have seen very peaceful First Amendment protests for the most part but embedded in each of those protests have been very violent people. And they’re embedded. They put up umbrellas. And they come for a fight,” Brown said. “So, we have to prepare for what we’ve seen.”

So just remember—”two sets of rules—one for thee, one for me.”- Lori Lightfoot

 

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