William J. Kelly, a journalist in Chicago, filed a federal suit against Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown. The lawsuit was filed after Kelly's press credentials were suspended.
Kelly claimed Lightfoot and Brown violated his First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Kelly stated:
“They have done this for the most cynical and contemptible reason that can be imagined, to prevent Lightfoot from being questioned about their failures in the performance of the public offices they currently occupy.”
The lawsuit says:
“Lightfoot desperately wants to prevent anyone from questioning her about her multiple failures in office or about the false statements she makes, at press conferences because she is standing for re-election and wants to keep her dismal performance as mayor of Chicago from being publically [sic] exposed and criticized.”
“Because Kelly in his role as a reporter and journalist has caused great embarrassment for Lightfoot by asking the hard and embarrassing questions about her obvious failure as mayor, and because this has and would continue to hurt her chances of being reelected, Lightfoot has directed Brown to revoke Kelly’s City of Chicago press credentials which prevents Kelly from attending any more of her press conferences.”
Kelly stated that following Lightfoot's instructions, Brown:
“Directed a police officer assigned to Lightfoot’s seventy officer strong security force to fabricate a report that Kelly had bumped into him on July 19, 2022. Brown then used this false report as a pretext to revoke Kelly’s press credentials on August 8, 2022. In fact the entire episode where this bump was falsely alleged to have taken place was videotaped by Kelly and this video shows no such bump took place.”
The lawsuit states that:
“This is blatantly unconstitutional. A public official may not target particular news media organizations or journalists for exclusion from access made generally available to other media. The First Amendment guarantees the freedoms of speech and of the press, and those rights are incorporated against the states. The Fourteenth Amendment also guarantees citizens due process and equal protection of the laws. including equal treatment by their government, and due process, which requires fair notice and consideration before the government may revoke access.”
An earlier recording shows him following Lightfoot when she refused to answer his questions at the press conference. Lightfoot's staff physically blocked him. The footage shared by The Daily Caller showed the reporter yelling, “Don't touch me” to the Lightfoot’s staff. The Lightfoot personnel have denied touching Kelly. The encounter occurred on the 19th of July.
On August 8th, Brown informed Kelly that his press credentials were suspended “as a result of actions which occurred on July 19, 2022.” Kelly stated that the incident took place just a day after he asked Lightfoot regarding the her “taxpayer-funded business trip” to Paris “with your donors” while crime is still all over Chicago.
In April, Kelly asked Lightfoot:
“How you could possibly even consider running for reelection as mayor of the city of Chicago after all the harm you’ve caused?”
The lawsuit further states:
“On information and belief when Lightfoot left the April 20, 2022 press conference and got into her car she had a complete melt-down, screaming, yelling and kicking with rage at Kelly. The April 20, 2022 press conference constituted the point after which Lightfoot exhibited an unhinged hatred of Kelly.”
Kelly ended his interview with Fox News Digital, saying:
“I’ve covered other Chicago mayors including Mayor Rahm Emanuel. None of them liked my questions either … But Mayor Lightfoot doesn’t think she should be answerable to anyone – certainly not me or to the people of Chicago. If a powerful politician like Mayor Lightfoot can just ‘cancel’ the First Amendment or a reporter like me whenever she wants, then we are truly lost as a nation.”
If Lightfoot isn't aware of this, in America we are protected by The First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of the press, whether Lightfoot likes it or not. However, the fact that she's unable to answer difficult questions, and instead responds to only easy questions, is a clear indication of the damage she's doing to the citizens of Chicago.