Lori Lightfoot Offers ‘Solution’ to Chicago Crime, Tells Victims ‘Not to Use Money If at All Possible’

Chicago’s Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot has told her constituents “not to use money if at all possible” if they want to reduce the risk of being targeted by criminals in her crime-infested city.

Lightfoot offered up the “solution” to Chicago’s soaring crime during a mayoral debate on Thursday night.

The mayor was talking about the street vendors in the Hispanic neighborhood of Little Village who have become targets for armed robberies.

Instead of saying she would put more cops on the streets or create a special detail so these workers can feel safe doing their job, she said told them not to take physical cash if at all possible.

“We have been in Little Village working with street vendors, understanding what the nature of the crime is, making sure we’re doing things in concert with them to help them make sure that their money is secure, not use money (cash) if at all possible, use other forms of transactions to take care of themselves,” Lightfoot said.


Former CNN reporter Peter Nickeas said:

“It’s not really surprising the mayor’s counsel was for tamale vendors to not take cash, the city police social accounts offer advice to residents on avoiding being victimized.

“It’s city policy at this point to push that responsibility out to residents.

“I get the need to be pragmatic and realistic, I get that you gotta look out for number one and all that. But I think it reflects an acceptance of violence and disorder when the official line, from the agency tasked in part with public safety, is ‘don’t get got.’

“I think in a more functioning city, the police department wouldn’t tell people to take safety in their own hands and to buy gear for their cars to prevent theft or make recovery easier, and the mayor wouldn’t tell vendors to avoid cash transactions.

“I know it’s a reflection of the world we have, the rules in the city as they exist now.

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“I’ve always had an appreciation for the need to adjust behavior to those realities.

“That’s just living in the city. I get that.

“But my behavior and my response as a resident should, I think, be different than the city gov’t’s.

“I don’t understand how gov’t isn’t, in this case, somewhat idealistic and aspirational.

“Let’s stop robberies because they’re bad and harm people.

“It’s a simple policy goal I think.

“I don’t think that’s at odds with being realistic – of course, there are things you can do to avoid being victimized.

“But people already know that.

“Nobody needs to be told, be careful.

“People already are careful. And, related: this isn’t a high-risk behavior / high-risk of victimization situation.

“This is the city telling its residents to not go out and make a lawful living the way they know how because, result of ~gestures broadly~ there are robberies.

“So what’s the pragmatic solution here – just don’t sell tamales if selling tamales is how you earn a living?

“Don’t drive in the city? Don’t buy a Kia? Don’t take the CTA?

“Yea, that’s it. Don’t get got.

“But is that what you want from your city government?

“Just boggles my mind, on something so simple, city can’t say ‘robbery is wrong, we have Ds working patterns, the district commander knows it’s a problem and has tac cars working early’ or whatever. (Of course,  would have to be true for that to even be a thought one entertains.)

“And if you’ve had a gun stuck in your face, for the $200 you made from getting out the door at 330a to sell tamales to people on their way to work … is that what you want to hear?

“Don’t take cash? What message does that send to every other business or every other victim?

“Don’t think this a very controversial thing. Don’t blame victims, robberies are wrong, always try to do better, always aim for more professionalism and better functioning city.

“OK last thing. Tamale vendors on 18th and 26th streets, east side etc … more important to city culture and identity than the Bears at the lakefront IMO. A lot more.

“Maybe not in tax $$$. But it’s one of the things that makes Chicago feel like home for people. It’s the city.”



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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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