After years of failing to address concerns over rampant violent crime, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) has advanced a plan seemingly designed to disguise the problem, leading one reporter to warn “more Chicagoans will die.”
(Video: Fox News)
William Kelly is a Chicago-based reporter who has alleged his press credentials were pulled by the progressive mayor for asking tough questions, a matter for which he has sued her in federal court. On Wednesday, he joined “Fox & Friends” where he spoke with Fox News co-host Steve Doocy to address Lightfoot’s recent decision to restrict previously accessible live police transmissions to an encrypted channel.
“This is not only censorship, Steve, this is malicious censorship. It’s like what’s next, the Nero Decree,” Kelly said, likening the move to Adolf Hitler’s 1945 order for Germany’s military to destroy the nation’s own infrastructure to keep Allied forces from using it.
The new encrypted channels prevent live access to and only permit hearing transmissions on a 30-minute delay with city officials claiming the move is intended, in part, to prevent criminals from monitoring police.
Kelly argued criminals were not the ones being put in danger as he went on, “It really is worrisome because of the danger to real citizens of Chicago. I know people who listen to the police scanner before they walk to the corner drugstore,” later adding, “they need these police scanners in order to know is there a violent repeat offender out on parole standing in front of their front door with a knife or a gun or something else before they can go to the grocery store or send their kids to school or go to work.”
The reporter wasn’t alone in voicing his concerns as a coalition of news organizations in the Chicago area released a joint opinion on the blocked access, highlighting some of the recent problems this has presented.
“A shooting took place at a courthouse and police district in Chicago last week in broad daylight. The perpetrators fired more than 40 shots and escaped on an expressway. You did not see, hear, or read about that incident as it was happening. The city of Chicago prevented you from knowing about this dangerous incident by blocking all live scanner transmissions. This jeopardized the lives of everyone at that police department, everyone at that courthouse, everyone on that expressway,” the post read.
The city of Chicago’s plan to block live access to police scanners "will harm our ability to keep you" — our community — "safe and informed."
Read our full response, written in collaboration with other local newsrooms, here. https://t.co/Lju7xcwsC3
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) December 13, 2022
“Also last week,” it continued, “we learned that a man armed with a rifle was walking down the street in the city’s West Pullman neighborhood. He was later shot by Chicago police. We were not able to alert the public as it was happening. All of this took place around dinnertime, as people returned home from work and children returned home from school.”
“This is Orwellian, this is dystopian…Chicagoans will die–more Chicagoans will die–as a result of her actions,” Kelly asserted after contesting that wait times for police response were already as long as two hours in the Windy City and “400,000 911 calls just went unanswered.”
The media statement also addressed concerns over transmissions being removed prior to accessibility, “effectively causing certain police or fire incidents to vanish, as though they never happened. This is censorship in its purest form.”
According to those news outlets and Doocy, Lightfoot has refused to address the matter.
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