Chicago Mayor Lightfoot Deploys Police to Guard Her Home on Night She Orders Removal of Columbus Statue

The local CBS affiliate reported on the scene in Chicago, where the Trump administration is sending federal police to help quell the ongoing violence, as shooting deaths occur on a daily basis:

About 1,000 protesters gathered in Logan Square Thursday night calling for racial justice and police reform. The protesters were gathered at Kimball and Wrightwood avenues, close to where Mayor Lori Lightfoot lives, as of 9:15 p.m.

The group included representatives of Black Lives Matter and Good Kids Mad City, and they are also calling for the defunding of police.

The protest began at the actual Logan Square at Milwaukee and Kedzie avenues. It grew considerably as it moved through the neighborhood.

A photographer posted on Twitter on Thursday night a video and photos of protesters near Lightfoot’s home dancing in the streets.”Words can’t express how live Chicago is right now, near the Mayor’s block. Ask the photos. #ChicagoProtests #LoganSquareLockdown #DefundCPD,” Vashon Jordan Jr. tweeted.Many of the protesters were not wearing masks and were packed tightly together.

At the same time protesters were pressing in on Lightfoot, the mayor, who is in her first term, ordered that a statue of Christopher Columbus be removed in the dead of night.

The Chicago Tribune reported on the statue removal:

Hoping to avoid another high-profile confrontation between police and protesters like the clash that happened last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the statues of Christopher Columbus removed from Chicago’s Grant and Arrigo parks overnight.

Lightfoot’s abrupt move in the dark of night was an about-face for the mayor, who has opposed taking down statues of the Italian explorer on the grounds that it would be erasing history. The mayor’s office statement Friday morning said that the city would soon announce “a formal process to assess each of the monuments, memorials, and murals across Chicago’s communities, and develop a framework for creating a public dialogue to determine how we elevate our city’s history and diversity.”

Not all Italian American leaders in Chicago are on board with the decision, but it has received the blessing of some groups, sources said. By taking the statues down, Lightfoot may draw criticism from those who believe she caved to activist demands.

“What has become of Chicago? We have a mayor forced into submission by anarchy & mob-rule? No more public process, official discourse, or on-the-record debate. The lesson learned is that if you want action from Lightfoot, show up en mass at her house & she will cave every time,” Alderman Raymond Lopez tweeted:

“This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols,” Lightfoot said the statement. “In addition, our public safety resources must be concentrated where they are most needed throughout the city, and particularly in our South and West Side communities.”

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