A hot mic captured Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot insulting a police union leader on Wednesday, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
As Patrick Murray got up to speak during a City Council meeting, Lightfoot – apparently unaware that the microphone was live – made a disparaging remark about the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police’s second-in-command.
“Oh, back again, this FOP clown,” Lightfoot was overheard saying.
“Mayor Lightfoot’s contemptuous remark is a misguided and dangerous thing to say to a 30-year veteran police officer and FOP representative, particularly at a time when the city is facing such chronic violent crime,” the organization said. “It is also telling that the Mayor would not even apologize.”
Lightfoot eventually did apologize for making the comments, but notably stopped well-short of retracting the sentiment behind her remarks.
“It was not appropriate for me to say that out loud,” Lightfoot said during a news conference that came after the council meeting.
Pressed on if she planned to issue an apology, she would only say she was sorry the microphone caught her remarks.
“I’m sorry that I said it out loud,” she answered.
Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police
According to the Sun Times, tensions between Chicago’s new mayor and the police union have flared in recent months. At a city council meeting in June, Murray confronted Lightfoot and accused her of freezing the police union out of public safety discussions.
Lightfoot, Chicago’s first black lesbian mayor, has sought to take Chicago down a more progressive path since taking office in May. She compared herself to progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the campaign trail, noting that she was just one of many women of color “standing up” and grabbing the “tools of power.”
Before being elected as mayor, Lightfoot was a fierce advocate of criminal justice reform. She oversaw an increase in police officer terminations during time as president of the Chicago Police Board, firing 72 percent of officers that were in front of the board for disciplinary action.
The mayor’s stance on law enforcement squares with that of many of her fellow progressives. In recent years, the existence of an epidemic of racially motivated and unlawful police killings of black men has become almost an article of faith in left-wing activist and intellectual circles.