Lori Lightfoot’s Private Text During George Floyd Riots: ‘The City Is Up For Grabs’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot at South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago on July 9, 2020. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

The texts that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — who has been harshly criticized for her leadership as her city descends further into chaos — sent over more than two and a half years with city aldermen have been revealed, and in one text during the riots after the death of George Floyd she bluntly stated, “The city is up for grabs.”

A new report from The Chicago Tribune details text messages Lightfoot has sent over more than two and a half years. “The Tribune obtained more than two and a half years of Lightfoot’s text messages with aldermen through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests — which her staff failed to comply with until the state attorney general admonished them and the Tribune threatened a lawsuit,” The Tribune reported.

The Tribune stated that on May 31, 2020, Alderman Pat Dowell “complained that police weren’t ‘doing a damn thing’ and in fact were ‘letting these folks loot’ in her ward. ‘The police have to engage these lawless f****,’ Dowell added.”

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez informed Lightfoot that there were people downtown that were not looting, asking Lightfoot if the Chicago Transit Authority could start again so they could leave. Lightfoot responded that those people could go west to catch the Blue Line or go to the Brown Line north.

The Tribune continued:

After Rodriguez Sanchez said she was getting messages from “scared young black People who don’t know where to go,” Lightfoot responded, “Go west and then north. Rossana, the city is up for grabs.”

Last July, University of Chicago student Audrey Unverferth, whose classmate Max Lewis was killed as he was commuting home on the city’s subway system, ripped Lightfoot for claiming crime was declining after a violent weekend that saw more than 100 people shot and at least 18 killed.

“Lewis, 20, was commuting on the city’s Green Line during rush hour on July 1 from his internship at an investment firm in downtown Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. While sitting inside the train, a bullet pierced the window and struck the back of his neck at the 51st Street/Washington Park Station,” Fox News reported.

After Lightfoot insisted that crime was on the decline, Unverferth slammed her on Fox News, saying, “Lori Lightfoot had the nerve recently to say that crime in Chicago is on the decline—that’s a blatant lie. I don’t have confidence in Lightfoot anymore.”

In July 2020, Lightfoot explained that the gun violence terrorizing the city was primarily due to lax gun laws and coronavirus-related lockdowns. As the Washington Examiner reported, when she was asked about the spike of violence in the city, Lightfoot declared, “That’s a complicated question. We have way too many guns on the streets.”

“Lightfoot also suggested that the coronavirus shutdowns that kept people inside for months played a role in creating a ‘perfect storm’ while also pointing out the death of George Floyd as an event that sparked anger in the community,” the Examiner reported.

NBC Chicago reported on July 1, 2020, “329 people have been killed in Chicago, an increase of about 34% from the 246 homicides during the same period last year, according to police. Shootings in that period rose by about 42%, from 978 in 2019 to 1,384 in 2020.”

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