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Chicago cops-out-of-schools plan potentially blocked by Mayor Lori Lightfoot ally

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Above, the Pritzker School, Chicago. Created by Mx. Granger in 2014. CC0 license.

The Chicago cops-out-of-schools plan has potentially been blocked by an ally of Mayor Lori Lighfoot. This transpires after weeks of political unrest in Chicago’s city government after the civil rights tensions escalated post the murder of George Floyd. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Ald. Chris Taliaferro used a parliamentary maneuver to move the proposal to force Chicago police out of inner city schools out of the committee its sponsor wanted it placed in. Sawyer wants the motion to force Chicago police out of schools in the Public Safety Committee. Ald. Chris Taliaferro has proposed to move it to the Education Committee. 

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Sawyer may have done this as a political preemptive move. Once two committees are called on for a city ordinance, it must be sent to the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee then chooses a final placement. Oftentimes, city mayors have traditionally sent bills they did not approve of to the Rules Committee to die a natural death before they are ever utilized. This appears to be the logic in this motion. 

Sawyer maintains that his ordinance is not anti-police, however, and the move to shuffle said ordinance around may spark greater controversy in the Council. Lightfoot appears to side with Taliaferro, taking the position that schools require police in order to be safe. This is further citing the Chicago Tribune. 

 The Chicago Tribune reported on June 17 that Floyd’s death “loomed large” over the City Council. The tensions between Lightfoot directly and the police union are intensifying. Likewise, tensions between the aldermen are beginning to build.

The Chicago Tribune reports that nine of the aldermen at the City Council meeting have refused to vote for Mayor Lightfoot’s $1.1 billion COVID-19 package on June 17. The Chicago Sun-Times later reported that the plan passed in the City Council, but after 11 aldermen demanded a written promise from Lori Lightfoot that the funds would not be allocated to the police department. They refused to vote because they were unable to secure a guarantee from the administration that none of the federal money in coming to Chicago would go to the Chicago Police Department. 

As the city squabbles over funding, Lightfoot moves to fully privatize her security detail apart from the Fraternal Order of Police in the city. The Chicago Tribune’s The Spin reports that Lightfoot has given her security detail who is a retired U.S. marshal full control over her private security. The U.S. marshal who is Lightfoot’s security officer is the leader of a private security firm. When Lightfoot was elected last year, she put the former U.S. marshal in control. Now he is taking the lead of the Chicago police officers who are assigned to guide City Hall and Lightfoot’s home in Logan Square.  

This has been perceived as a further alienation by Fraternal Order of Police head John Catanzara, who is a frequent critic of Lightfoot. This is further citing the Chicago Tribune. 

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot has herself not directly commented on her opposition of removing police from schools. At least, not via her social media and not at the time of this posting. However, she made her advocacy for the racial relations movements and civil rights protest quite well known. Lightfoot appears to moderately support both the need for police reform and the need to maintain a police presence in Chicago. Yet, her continued feud with the FOP may create some backlash that will complicate any future motions she takes on Chicago policing. 

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