America has seen a lot of division in recent years. This division has stemmed from political stance, failing leaders and lack of support for our police force. One of the major cities that has been detrimentally affected by this division is Chicago, Illinois. Chicago has witnessed lacking leadership from the mayor, deadly riots, and vandalization and looting. Now, Chicago may have even more to worry about in the near future with its businesses.
In 2020, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd tragically lost their lives. Both of these individuals happened to be black Americans. These two deaths caused an explosion of racially based riots and protests across the United States. One of the major cities affected by these riots was Chicago.
George Floyd passed away Memorial Day weekend in 2020. The days following this event consisted of riots, protests, looting, vandalization and many more deaths. Around 1,000 people were arrested for breaking curfew, looting or vandalization. However, because the police were not being supported by their mayor and lacked manpower and resources, there were major discrepancies in the mass-arrest process. As a result, many suspects were released without charges being filed.
… And Result
You might ask what Mayor Lightfoot did for the city of Chicago during this tragic event. In regards to these events, Mayor Lightfoot reported that she didn’t believe there was a “potential for peaceful protests to turn violent.” This is very hard to believe when there were anti-police demonstrations popping up across the country leading to these events.
There were also two major logistical decisions Mayor Lightfoot made during the riots that have been questioned since. First, during the riots the mayor decided to raise the bridges on the Chicago River to keep rioters out of the Loop. Second, she stopped CTA trains from coming into the Loop.
‘“Proponents of this decision within CPD believed that peaceful protesters had left downtown by this time, and that suspending train service would stop people from coming to vandalize and loot the area,” the report said. “One command staff member specifically mentioned stopping people coming from the city’s South Side as an objective.” But protesters said they found it difficult to exit the Loop because the bridges were raised and trains were bypassed.’
Just in Chicago on that weekend, there were over 86 businesses vandalized or looted and 18 people killed. Our Police were not backed and our mayor failed our city and police force.
To Defund or not…?
Following these events, Mayor Lightfoot was asked if she believes that police would have less crime to deal with if the city spent less on police and more on other social services like mental health programs and education. She responded “I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition.”
She claims they need reform and accountability for the Police Department but also need to invest in our communities. Yet, if the police department had the extra manpower, resources and support from elected officials, like Lori Lightfood, the discussion to defund the police would look a lot different. The money Lightfoot wants to invest in our communities should be going to the police so they are better equipped to handle situations like these in the future.
What Does the Future Hold for Businesses in Chicago?
Due to these tragic events, many businesses have closed or left the city of Chicago to find safer working environments. One business that has proudly represented our Windy City is the Chicago Bears. The Chicago Bears have been at Soldier Field in Chicago for over 50 years! However, in September of 2021 they signed a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) for a 326-acre site in Arlington Heights. Chicago will now lose out on all the revenue it earned from the Chicago Bears games’.
Mayor Lightfoot has reached out to the President and owners of the Bears to try and have them commit to keep the team in Chicago but the Bears’ canceled a meeting with city officials to discuss the matter.
For years we have discussed the lack of leadership from elected officials like Mayor Lightfoot. It makes you wonder if Mayor Lightfoot had done her job during the riots then these businesses’ might not be fleeing! The Bears’ are doing what is best for their team by moving away from the violence in Chicago along with other businesses. Maybe now the Mayor will do her part to stop the violence and crime and Restore Respect for police.