Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was berated by local journalist William Kelly during a city council meeting earlier this week and told to ‘get the hell out’ of the city.
Kelly who has been a longtime vocal critic of the Lightfoot’s policies, called out the mayor for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, that led to the closure of the city’s schools, churches, and businesses.
Kelly, who runs a TV production and event company lashed out during a section of the meeting during which the public were invited to make comments.
‘You shut down our schools, you shut down the churches, you shut down the businesses,’ Kelly began.
‘You did the one thing that I thought could never happen. As someone who was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, I never thought in my life that I would ever see the city of Chicago brought down so low as you have managed to bring it down.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was berated during a contentious city council meeting with journalist William Kelly telling her to ‘get the hell out of my city’
William Kelly who has a history of clashing with Lightfoot condemned her leadership, her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and of crime which has risen considerably
‘I hope that, after today’s city council meeting, you will pack your suitcase and get the hell out of my city,’ Kelly railed.
‘Shame on you,’ he continued. ‘That is a legacy that you are going to have to carry.’
Kelly had a long-standing feud with Lightfoot even suing her last year over her policies.
During his statement, Kelly lambasted the mayor for revoking his press credentials as an act of retribution for his criticism and called her out for trying to silence naysayers.
‘I feel like this is more like a victim impact statement than an actual public comment,’ he said.
‘What you’ve done to me is nothing compared to what you’ve done to my city, the city of Chicago, the city that I was born and raised in, the city that I love with all my heart. ‘You are a pandemic,’ Kelly added.
During the council meeting, pictured above, Kelly accused her of causing significant harm to the city, which he loves and where he was born and raised describing her as a ‘pandemic’
Last year, Chicago journalist William Kelly sued Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for violating his First and 14th Amendment rights after he was barred from City Hall press conferences
Lightfoot did not respond to Kelly’s remarks, and he walked out of the meeting after calling her a ‘pandemic.’
Lightfoot, who was elected in 2019, recently lost her bid for re-election.
Her tenure has been marked by criticism over her handling of crime in the city, which has risen significantly since she took office, with the homicide rate increasing by 40 per cent last year alone.
The city saw 800 murders in 2021, the highest in 25 years.
Lightfoot has also faced controversy over her strained relationship with the press and city unions, with some accusing her of limiting Freedom of Information access to public records.
Despite Lightfoot’s claims of racism and gender bias after her re-election loss, critics continue to question her leadership and legacy.
The verbal attack by Kelly underscores the frustration felt by many in the city, who are calling for change and accountability in the top tiers of leadership.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was notoriously soft on crime scraped just 17 percent of the vote in the race for City Hall, forcing a run off between Paul Vallas, a former schools CEO and Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner on April 4.
Lightfoot, the first black woman and first openly gay person to lead the city, won her first term in 2019 after promising to end decades of corruption and backroom dealing at City Hall.
But opponents blamed Lightfoot for an increase in crime that occurred in cities across the U.S. during the pandemic and criticized her as being a divisive, overly contentious leader.
As crime continued to soar through the last years of her term, Lightfoot was heavily criticized for promoting other matters than public safety, including a citywide karaoke contest and dancing in the street during a festival.
Lightfoot first faced intense backlash after she joined calls from Democratic mayors in 2021 to cut the budget of police departments, a movement that also resulted in officers quitting the force and violent crime to spike.
The embattled mayor then committed to a U-turn, opting instead to ‘refund the police’ and hire more officers, but the move has done little to curb crime.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s latest report, rapes have shot up by 16 percent so far this year compared to the same time in 2022.
Robberies are also up 13 percent, with aggravated battery and burglaries both up 11 percent.
Theft in the windy city is up 31 percent, and vehicle thefts, specifically, have soared up 143 percent.
Homicides and shooting incidents were the only category to see decreases, falling by 18 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
While overall violent crime is up 52 percent from the same time last year, it’s up 102 percent when compared to 2021.