Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) snapped at reporters on Wednesday days after the murder of police officer Ella French, saying that the media is in a “race to the bottom” and that their reporting on her in recent days has been “sickening.”
Hours after the murder, over two dozen police officers turned their backs on Lightfoot when she appeared at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where French’s partner remains in critical condition.
When asked about the protest, Lightfoot whined that “we are living in a time where people don’t respect each other.”
Things quickly went downhill from there as Lightfoot proceeded to berate the reporters gathered at her press conference.
“Larger than that is this moment where people feel like it is their right to spew hatred at everyone that they don’t agree with or make fun and mock, usually anonymously and cowardly from social media, not confronting somebody directly and talking to them, but using the power of the pen and the keyboard to just spew unbelievable hate,” she said, according to Fox News.
“So this is a larger question than what may have happened with 10 or 15 officers on Saturday night,” Lightfoot continued. “It’s why do we think it is OK for people to engage in such nasty, vicious talk, orally or worse, on social media, and then have it repeated by media as if it is fact and true.”
“I think our media plays a very important role in our democracy, but you lose me, you lose me when it’s a race to the bottom and it’s all about the fight and it’s all about the conflict,” she said. “I’ve got to tell you, some of the reporting I’ve seen this week is just sickening. We all need to ask ourselves what we can do better to show our people everywhere that we have the capacity to be human beings again.”
Lightfoot became visibly angry when one reporter then asked her about reports that First Deputy Police Superintendent Eric Carter rushed French’s funeral procession by calling off a traditional honor guard and bagpipe salute.
“The reporting on that is just not true. It’s not true,” Lightfoot said, before citing “COVID protocols” by the Medical Examiner’s Office and claiming a protest group that “wanted to hijack the procession” complicated matters outside of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Unfortunately for Lightfoot, however, a Medical Examiner’s Office spokesperson has since told WGN News that “protocols for processions at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office have not changed since the pandemic began.”
Despite this, Lightfoot was quick to defend Carter’s decision to skip the tradition.
“Eric Carter made the right call,” she said. “I support what he did. And I’m horrified that in this moment, people are trying to savage him for whatever agenda or purpose.
“And I would just caution you all. Be careful. Be careful,” she added. “Check your sources. Make sure they’re accurate. Get the right context. Because I know firsthand, it’s really hard when the media becomes ferocious in propagating a story that’s just not true.”
During this same press conference, the Democrat mayor lashed out at a reporter who cited reports she “forced” her way upstairs at the hospital against the injured officer’s wishes.
“I’m not going to respond to that,” she said. “I don’t force my way anywhere. And that’s offensive, frankly, that you would ask me that question. … I just sat here and talked about the fact that we’ve got to be really careful and you have to be really careful in your reporting and be responsible. And you just keep lobbing this nonsense that’s offensive and insulting and really does a disservice to the moment that we’re in.
“Give me a break,” Lightfoot added. “What else are you going to mine from the bottom of the chum barrel? Come on. You’re better than that. You’re better than that. You’re better than that.”