Lightfoot called out for blocking police scanners: ‘Doesn’t want people to know what’s going on’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is coming under fire for her decision to block the public and the media from being able to monitor police scanners, preventing journalists from being able to report on crime and keeping people in the dark concerning what is going on around them.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Fox News host Katie Pavlich hammered Lightfoot for the move, asserting that it was meant to keep citizens in the dark.

“In terms of the police scanner traffic, that’s not just used by media, it’s actually used by a lot of people in these neighborhoods who listen in so that when there is a shooting, or there is a high-speed chase, they know where it is, and they can protect themselves and their families not to go in certain areas,” she said Thursday on “The Five.”

In December, Lightfoot announced that the city would be switching over to an encrypted radio frequency accessible only to those with a decryption key, according to Fox News. That did not go over well.

The mayor bit back at her critics, claiming it’s all about police safety, not censorship. No one is buying that with prosecutors letting criminals back out on the streets.

(Video Credit: Fox 32 Chicago)

“If it’s unencrypted and there’s access, there’s no way to control criminals who are going to also get access, listen in, and adjust their criminal behavior in response to the information that’s being communicated,” the mayor defensively stated at a press conference.

Pavlich pointed out that if the besieged mayor was really concerned about the police, she would put an end to soft-on-crime policies.

“The bigger picture is if you really want to protect police officers, Lori Lightfoot would put pressure on the prosecutors to keep the revolving door of criminals off the streets,” she contended. “These cops are encountering the same people over and over again, in the same neighborhoods committing the same crimes, and yet they’re still being let out of jail.”

The Fox News host remarked that it all boils down to Lightfoot “not wanting people to know what’s going on.”

Co-host Greg Gutfeld echoed her sentiments, also pointing out the fact that blocking police scanners is a way for the mayor to flip the narrative concerning skyrocketing crime in the Windy City.

“This is not the priority if you care about police safety,” he charged.

Then Gutfeld recounted that Lightfoot has a history of acting as if reporters are “betraying” her if they cover the crime epidemic in Chicago.

“I think it is uncomfortable for people like Lori Lightfoot and others to approach this topic because of their culpability in never covering it, never addressing it, and also supporting such progressive policies as no cash bail and reduced sentencing, which you can just directly link to what we are seeing right now,” he added.

A coalition of media organizations, including ABC7, are claiming that Lightfoot’s decision to block access to scanners will keep journalists from doing their jobs in real time and will prevent them from warning the public of threats. Other news organizations in the coalition include CBS 2 Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, WGN-TV, Fox 32 Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Public Media, and Block Club Chicago.

“My team has spent a lot of time trying to talk to, explain and see that we could come to some common ground, and we were told by the media outlets, ‘our way or no way.’ Well, then, my primary responsibility as mayor is public safety, public safety, public safety,” Lightfoot said, according to WBBM NewsRadio.

The city of Chicago parroted Lightfoot’s assertion in a statement, claiming it’s all about officer safety. The media and the public will now have access to a delayed 30-minute public transmission, according to city officials which is basically useless when your life is in danger.


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