Lori Lightfoot is taking a stand against homophobic cops.
The first Black lesbian mayor of Chicago has promised to fire a police officer who was caught on camera hurling an antigay slur at protesters after a projectile was thrown.
The incident went viral after a clip was posted to social media, in which the unidentified man, who is wearing a Chicago Police Department uniform, is not hit by the object but takes out his anger with homophobic language.
“Bitch! Wait ’till I turn my back, you fucking faggot!” he yelled at the Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
In response to a complaint about the incident, an investigation by the CPD is ongoing. Additionally, in a June 5 press conference, Lightfoot vowed to ax any officer who used antigay slurs or exhibited any other behavior that would "demean the badge."
“We will not tolerate people who cross this line. We will not tolerate excessive force," Lightfoot said. “We will not tolerate profanity and homophobic comments that demean the badge, demean the honor of being a Chicago police officer, and demean the value of who we are as Chicagoans. We will not tolerate that.
“If you are one of those officers who choose to do those things, or to tape over their badges, or to turn off their body-worn cameras — all things that violate very clear directives of the Chicago Police Department — we will find you, we will identify you, and we will strip you of your police powers," Lightfoot said. "Period."
Lightfoot asked anyone who observed police misconduct to report the behavior by dialing 311.
In a statement, the CPD echoed Lightfoot's condemnation of the incident. “The Chicago Police Department strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect. Any derogatory conduct is inexcusable and has no place in the Department," it said.
Lightfoot made LGBTQ+ history when she was elected in 2019 as mayor to one of America's largest cities. However, at the time, some activists warned about her extensive roots with the CPD. In the 2000s, Lightfoot was chief administrator of the CPD’s Office of Professional Standards, in which capacity she defended the department against alleged victims of police violence.
Lightfoot also served as president of the Chicago Police Board from 2015 to 2018, overseeing decisions on allegations of police misconduct. Her decisions often disappointed many young Black activists. Her track record made "Lori is a cop" trend among critics, who see little chance of her enacting sweeping police reform in wake of nationwide protests responding to George Floyd's killing and police brutality.
"Any changes Lightfoot makes to policing will be incremental, not fundamental," wrote Chicago magazine's Edward McClelland in a Monday analysis of her response.