Amid an unprecedented push by Black Lives Matter to “defund police,” Chicago’s Democratic mayor engaged in a contentious, profanity-laced argument with a local alderman who accused her of being unprepared to handle looting that spread from downtown to businesses in his neighborhoods.
On a conference call with 50 aldermen, Raymond Lopez of the city’s 15th ward told Mayor Lori Lightfoot that parts of the Back of the Yards and Brighton Park neighborhoods in his ward had become “a virtual warzone,” according to audio obtained by the Chicago CBS affiliate.
Lopez said there are people among the protesters of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis who “are here to antagonize and incite, and you’ve got them all pumped tonight, today.”
“They’re not going to go to bed at 8 o’clock. They’re going to turn their focus on the neighborhoods,” he said. “I’ve got gang-bangers with AK-47s walking around right now, just waiting to settle some scores. What are we going to do, and what do we tell residents, other than good faith people stand up? It’s not going to be enough.”
Lightfoot didn’t answer and attempted to move to the next alderman, but Lopez insisted on a reply.
“It’s not something you ignore. This is a question that I have,” Lopez said.
Lighfoot shot back: “I think you’re 100% full of s***, is what I think.”
Lopez replied in kind.
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“F*** you, then. Who are you to tell me I’m full of s***?” he said. “Maybe you should come out and see what’s going on.”
Lightfoot denied protecting downtown at the expense of the neighborhoods.
“If you think we’re not ready, and we stood by and let the neighborhoods go up, there’s nothing intelligent that I could say to you,” the mayor said. “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I understand you want to preen.”
Lopez fired back: “Mayor, you need to check your f***ing attitude. That’s what you need to do.”
Other aldermen tried to bring calm, with one telling Lopez: “Ray, cut it out, please. Calm down, please.”
In an interview Monday with WBBM, Lopez said many of his wards key businesses were looted or burned down that weekend.
They included at least two Walgreens stores, restaurants and an entire strip mall. In addition, a post office was looted, and many people in the area haven’t received mail for a week.
Hear a WBBM report that features audio of the exchange: