President Trump stated that Chicago is next on the list for his “law and order” campaign. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says “there has been a lot of saber-rattling from this administration.”
Local Chicago Government officials, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, were initially outspoken against the insertion of federal agents into cities with the intention to quell civil uprising. There were concerns that Chicago would see the same violent reaction now witnessed in Portland.
Lightfoot later said she had spoken with the president and with federal authorities and they have come to an understanding.
“I’ve been very clear that we welcome actual partnership,” the Democratic mayor said Tuesday after speaking with federal officials. “But we do not welcome dictatorship. We do not welcome authoritarianism, and we do not welcome unconstitutional arrest and detainment of our residents. That is something I will not tolerate.”
Protests in Portland have taken many forms. In the last week Portland moms and dads joined arm in arm in yellow and orange t-shirts, chanting “hands up, please don’t shoot me” and “feds stay clear, moms are here”.
Portland’s “Naked Athena” has also made national headlines as the woman who walked up to a line of federal agents completely nude, even sitting with her legs open on the pavement in front of officers.
White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany described the mayhem in Portland, framing President Trump’s intervention with federal force as restoring “law and order.”
Protests around Portland’s courthouse attracted over 2,000 Black Lives Matter supporters.
“Individuals have thrown bricks, chunks of concrete glass, bottles, feces, balloons filled with paint picks, [and used] slingshots to hurl ball bearings and batteries at federal agents and the courthouse,” McEnany said.
“Multiple attempts to barricade officers in the Hatfield courthouse have occurred – attempts to start the structure on fire as well. Eyesight damaging laser devices have been used in strobe lights against federal agents as well,” she added.
Reporters questioned McEnany about the case of Navy vet Christopher David. David was pepper sprayed and beaten by federal agents at a protest outside Portland’s Mark O’Hatfield Courthouse. “I’m aware of the details of that situation. I’d refer you to DHS about the extenuating details,” she stated, citing “the appropriate use of force.”
McEnany seemed unswayed by Lori Lightfoot’s initial anger at Trump’s announcement, saying, “even though you have a Democrat mayor and Democrat governor unwilling to work with us in the situation. We are surging resources along with secretary [Chad] Wolf at DHS and augmenting the federal protective service to safeguard federal property.”
McEnany cited 40 U.S. Code 1315, and its deputization authority as granting Trump the right to send forces into cities even against their own Governments’ wishes.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the president not to send “secret federal agents” to Chicago.:
“What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago,” Lightfoot wrote. “Any other form of militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster.”
Lightfoot went on: “As any law enforcement official will tell you, what is needed more than anything in an operation to protect lives is a clear mission, a detailed operations plan. A chain of command secret, federal agents who do not know Chicago, are unfamiliar with the unique circumstances of our neighborhoods and who would operate outside the established infrastructure of local law enforcement would not be effective, regardless of the number, and worse will foment a massive wave of opposition.”
Lightfoot was joined by New York City’s Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea, in her dissent.
When asked about Trump deploying forces into New York, Shea said, “I think we have the resources, I do. We have a lot of obstacles right now. If people want to get the courts open in New York City, that would help. That would help me immeasurably. But in terms of resources, we have the resources.”
A tweet from President Trump added to the conflict: “The Radical Left Democrats, who totally control Biden, will destroy our Country as we know it. Unimaginably bad things would happen to America. Look at Portland, where the people are just fine with 50 days of anarchy. We sent in help. Look at New York, Chicago, Philadelphia. NO!”
Initially the press reported that 150 Homeland Security Investigations officers would be sent to Chicago to “assist other federal law enforcement and Chicago police in crime-fighting efforts,” but this claim seems to be challenged by Lightfoot.
The Mayor now insists that the white house will only be providing “additional resources in the FBI, the DEA and the ATF, and unlike what happened in Portland, what we will receive is resources that is going to plug into the existing federal agencies that we work with on a regular basis to help manage and suppress violent crime in our cities.”
In Portland, alarm has been heightened by officers using force against peaceful protestors and apprehending them into unmarked vans. Concern around officers’ failing to identify themselves continues to circulate as McEnay admitted “They don’t identify themselves to crowds because it would put them at great risks.”
Lightfoot stressed that this is not the conduct citizens will be facing in Chicago.
“What we do not welcome and what we do not tolerate, and what we would fight against, is the deployment of unnamed federal special agents onto our streets to detain people without cause and effectively take away their civil rights and their civil liberties without due process.”