Chicago Mayor Lightfoot discusses downtown violence, next CPD superintendent in exclusive interview

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot disagreed with Mayor-elect Johnson's idea to have next supt. come from inside department

Craig Wall Image
Monday, May 1, 2023
Lightfoot discusses downtown violence, next CPD superintendent
Mayor Lori Lightfoot discussed downtown Chicago violence and the next CPD superintendent in an exclusive interview with Craig Wall.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In just two weeks from Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot will hand over the keys to the fifth floor at City Hall.

In her only local TV interview reflecting on the last four years, Lightfoot sat down with political reporter Craig Wall.

One of the many topics discussed was public safety.

Lightfoot had a lot to say about crime, punishment and accountability -- for the perpetrators, but also for parents and police, with summer and warmer weather not far off, and with CPD leadership in a state of flux.

Just two weekends ago, Chicago was thrust into the national spotlight after large crowds of young people swarmed downtown, damaging property, assaulting visitors and creating chaos.

Lightfoot said the public safety blueprint drawn up after similar problems last summer was not executed.

"I made it very clear to the police department leadership. My expectation is that they were going to execute the plan with fidelity, and that where there were failures, that the people who were responsible, are going to be held accountable," Lightfoot said.

But Lightfoot made it clear that it's not just police who have to be accountable.

SEE MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot opens up about election defeat, reflects on past 4 years

"When there are kids in any crowd of any color that come downtown and wreak havoc, that's a problem. And that has to be dealt with," she said. "First and foremost, parents have to be accountable. No ifs, and or buts about it. We can't just give folks a pass and ignore it. But I don't think we go to the punitive. I think we try to educate people into compliance."

With the search underway to replace former police Superintendent David Brown, who Lightfoot brought in from Dallas, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson recently suggested he thinks the next top cop should be someone from within the department.

Lightfoot disagrees.

"I want to see the best person, who really has the capacity and experience to do all three jobs: crime fighting, community, and the administrative side of the house, not the least of which is continuing to make progress on the consent decree," she said.

With just two weeks left as mayor, Lightfoot would not say what's next for her, but said she will leave office with no regrets about the last four years.

"Yes, of course I wanted four more years to finish the work that we started. But I'm going to be, continue to be passionate and involved just sitting in a different seat," she said. "Personally I feel very happy and looking forward to becoming a private citizen."

Lightfoot said she has no plans to run for political office again, but she is staying in Chicago.

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