Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot instructed law enforcement to block protesters from gathering outside her home, but refused to take forceful action against violent rioters destroying private property downtown.
When asked why she gets heightened security while the rest of the city fends for itself, Lightfoot argued it’s because of the amount of threats she has received.
“I think that residents of this city, understanding the nature of the threats that we are receiving on a daily basis, understand I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” Lightfoot said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I’m not going to make any excuses for the fact that, given the threats I have personally received, given the threats to my home and my family, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they’re protected,” she added.
Police were instructed this week to arrest anyone who refuses to leave the area near Lightfoot’s home, even if they are peacefully protesting, according to the Tribune.
According to an email sent by the district’s commander at the time, officers assigned to enforce the directive were instructed to tell protesters “that it is against the city code and state law to protest” and that they must “leave immediately.”
After the warning is given, the street “should be locked down,” the instructions added.
To carry out this order, as many as 140 officers at a time have been stationed outside Lightfoot’s home over the past few days, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Meanwhile, violence in the city continues to skyrocket. On Aug. 10, city officials were forced to raise bridges to the city’s downtown in an attempt to prevent looting from occurring in the city’s center.
But Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown also defended his officers’ actions, pointing to the violent actions of rioters who have joined the protests.
“We have seen very peaceful First Amendment protests for the most part but embedded in each of those protests have been very violent people,” Brown said.
“And they’re embedded,” he continued. “They put up umbrellas. And they come for a fight. So we have to prepare for what we’ve seen.”