Mayor Lightfoot reflects on the murder of George Floyd 1 year later

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7 Eyewitness News sat down with Mayor Lightfoot one year after the murder of George Floyd to reflect on the past year.

Like for so many Black Americans, Lightfoot said the pain hasn't gone away.

"It's going to take us time to heal from the just horrible murder of this Black man in the street for no reason," she said.

Race and Culture reporter Will Jones shared with Lightfoot his experiences as a journalist covering the first night of the civil unrest in the Loop. When I got home that night I sat in my car in the driveway trying to process a range of emotions as a Black man.

"Did you ever have a moment where you just took off your mayor's hat and processed it as a Black woman," Jones asked.

"It's distressing to me to see people of color, particularly Black folks as a Black woman tearing up their community," she responded. "Those businesses that were looted, those were a lot of Black entrepreneurs who put their heart and soul into their businesses."

Many families, including Lightfoot's, have been having conversations this past year about race.

"Not only are we mixed race, we are a family of two moms," she said, "So those conversations really only intensified over the course of last year."

Lightfoot released Tuesday her long-awaited civilian police oversight plan. Activists have been critical of the mayor's handling of police reform from civilian oversight to the budget.

"It's not surprising that after thousands of people called on her to defund the police that she hasn't done that," said Kobi Guillory, co-chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and a BLM Chicago member.

Lightfoot said she led with her values.

"There's always going to be critics," she said.

Jones asked Lightfoot if she had any concerns that the next George Floyd incident could possibly happen in Chicago.

"Legitimacy in policing is so crucially important and what we must do is make sure we're being completely transparent, that we're emphasizing training that is constitutional policing, we're continuing to emphasize respectful engagement with members of the community," she said.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.