Lightfoot & the Chicago Police: it’ll get worse

By John Kass

The murder of Chicago Police officer Ella French, and the anger of police toward Mayor Lori Lightfoot—they turned their backs on her at the hospital–has laid bare a wound that now all of America can see.

The other evening, I was interviewed by Leland Vittert in his “On Balance” program on the News Nation network, we talked about it.

I was born here. I’ve covered the city for all my life. And I told Vittert that I’ve never seen it this bad.

Chicago is the city of anarchy now. And the people expected to keep order, the undermanned, overworked, and emotionally and physically exhausted Chicago Police Department, have one clear feeling toward the mayor:


The people of Chicago could sense it, but now it’s all out in the open. She’s thrown them under the bus time and time again, from ending foot chases to publicly slamming them in Bobby Rush Popcorn Gate.

She ripped on cops but sided with the militant leftist bosses of the Chicago Teachers Union. She’s weak and even the CTU loathes her too and want to take her out.

Now I hear she’s angry with reporters for doing their jobs reporting that cops turned their backs on her. Really?

I supported her. I’ve defended her. But now it’s clear she’s incompetent, in water over her head, flailing.

It’ll get worse. There will be a funeral, and she’ll feel compelled to attend, and speak and make another big speech about Ella French. And cops who loathe her won’t want her to attend.

Chicago is the city of anarchy, and police and their families are directing all their loathing upon her.

I was born here. I love Chicago, but I’ve never seen it this bad.

We’ve had riots before, and cops have loathed other mayors, the people have been afraid of crime demanding law-and-order while others were afraid of being on the wrong side of police, and were critical of cops.

If you’re not a child, you know this. If you’ve followed the politics of this fascinating city, the politics in the city of tribes, you know this.

Chicago has come through it in the past. I was a kid during the 60s and the riots, when the West Side burned, and firefighters were sniped at on the South Side, when the Nazis screamed at the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and he was hit in the head with a brick in Marquette Park. Whites fled in the white flight and my family was part of it. And now Blacks have fled, with tens of thousands of middle-class Black families gone.

Even through all this, Chicago came back. Downtown was a ghost town once, but it came back. And Chicago came back.

But now? With violent crime rising, and anarchy on civic, political, and street levels, for the first time in my life, I feel that the city has become unmoored. And what does history tell us about people in chaos?

I’ll have more to say on this in another column soon.

(Copyright 2021 John Kass)