Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to pay her city’s police $60 million has been dismissed as a cheap political stunt by a civil rights lawyer.
Leo Terrell told Fox News Tuesday that Lightfoot’s budget, announced Monday, was just a ploy to try and increase her chances of reelection.
He said: “This is a political stunt,” he told Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy. “Like you said, she’s running for reelection. She cut the budget last year. She is a friend of Black Lives Matter. I can ask all viewers: what has Lori Lightfoot been doing over the past two years to curb crime? the summer riots, she hasn’t done anything at all.’
“This is actually blood money,” he added. “I’m telling you right now, she turned down Donald Trump’s help a few years ago and all she’s trying to do is conquer her political base.”
Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell (right) called Mayor Lightfoot’s proposal to “pay back the police” a political stunt to boost her chances of reelection
Lightfoot (pictured) has denounced ‘relieving the police’ and last month revealed her plans to ‘pay back the police’ after the death of Officer Ella French
Terrell referred to Lightfoot’s turnaround in her 2020 proposal, which cut $59 million of the CPD budget, or 3.3 percent, and 600 vacant positions from the department amid Black Lives Matter protests over the summer of 2020.
City councilors voted 29 to 21 last year in support of Lightfoot’s $12.8 billion budget, which she called its “pandemic budget.” It included a $94 million property tax hike and controversial debt refinancing to help close a $1.2 billion deficit.
Next year, the city will face a budget deficit of $733 million attributed to the “lasting and lasting effects” of the coronavirus pandemic, the city wrote in a press release.
The city plans to close the budget gap with some of the approximately $2 billion in one-time funding from the federal US bailout plan.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago real estate taxes are expected to rise $76.5 million, but Lightfoot will hold the line on all other taxes, penalties and fees.
Lightfoot has since denounced the ‘defund the police’ movement, and last month revealed her plans to ‘pay back the police’ following the death of Officer Ella French.
Although Lightfoot did not provide an estimate of this year’s police budget, she said at a news conference last month: “I expect without a doubt that the police budget will increase. We have to.’
She added: “We need to make sure we continue to provide resources to recruit the next generation of police officers and make sure we do that recruitment in a way that reflects the diversity of the city.”
But Terrell said it’s too little too late to paddle back, pointing out that the Chicago police union passed a vote of “no confidence” in the mayor, driving up crime rates in Chicago.
“Look, the Chicago police union gave her a vote of no confidence, they turned their backs on Officer French who lost her life,” Terell said. “She’s not a friend of police officers at all, and you can ask viewers what she’s done to curb crime. Nothing.’
“Steve, Chicago is a war zone, and let me give you one more powerful fact,” Terrell added. “This year, at one point this year, more children have been shot in Chicago than the children who have died from Covid this year. Chicago is a war zone. Children are even afraid to walk on the street. If it hits Friday, until Sunday, it’s a danger to kids in Chicago.”
Chicago has seen an influx of violent crime in 2021 and many have said they don’t trust Lightfoot to turn the tide.
This year through September 12, the CPD’s most recent statistics, murders, shootings and sex crimes have all risen. Overall, however, crime has fallen by 6 percent, with 30,318 incidents this year and 32,190 last year.
More children have now been shot in Chicago this year than the number of children who have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
According to data from the police and the Center for Disease Control, a total of 214 children under 17 have died from the virus, while a total of 261 have been shot in the liberal city this year. Of those 261 minors who were shot, 41 were fatally injured.
While childhood COVID-19 cases peaked in the summer, death rates across demographics remain low, accounting for just 0-0.27 percent of pandemic fatalities across the country.
John Catanzara, the chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge #7, told Fox News in August that Lightfoot’s crackdown on policing and crime has encouraged criminals such as the killer who shot Ella French, 29.
He also defended the decision of dozens of officers who literally turned their backs on the mayor when she approached them at the University of Chicago Medical Center after the murder.
“She’s a flag in the wind,” Catanzara said, suggesting Lightfoot has no political backbone. “Since she’s been mayor for two and a half years, she’s vilified the police. Because the political climate says the fund policy and the police are not the enemy – now she has to turn and now she has to be our best friend? It’s damn late.’
He added, “The men and women of this police station have no respect for this mayor and it was as palpable as you can imagine outside that hospital at the University of Chicago.”