Chicago police arrested six out-of-town protesters for failing to disperse from outside Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home after they were ordered to do so Saturday night.
The arrests followed news that Lightfoot, despite supporting protests elsewhere in the city, had banned protesters from gathering near her home and stationed at times more than 100 police officers outside her neighborhood to disperse the crowds.
The move had reportedly caused grumbling among the city’s police and was called out by Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara. The Chicago Sun-Times noted that police are already stretched thin, with many officers leaving the force and the remaining police tasked with managing violence and riots in other locations around the city.
Lightfoot defended the move last week, alleging that threats have been made against her and her family, though she did not elaborate on the nature of the threats.
The arrests: The six individuals arrested — four women and two men — were from New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Washington, according to WGN-TV. They were charged with misdemeanor residential picketing and are due in court October 5.
Police said that all six of the individuals were given a verbal warning to disperse before they were detained and that one women was also issued a city ordinance violation for loud music or amplified sound.
A woman who remained anonymous told the Chicago Sun-Times that some of the protesters were with the “Jesus Matters Movement.”
She reportedly added that they were protesting Lightfoot because “Lightfoot is a liberal and it is the liberals’ faults” that “the country is going to s**t.”
An email sent in May by the district commander over Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, where Lightfoot’s home is located, instructed officers to inform protesters near the home “that it is against the city code and state law to protest” and that they must “leave immediately.”
The instructions added that after the warning is given, the street “should be locked down.”
Catanzara claimed that up to 140 officers at a time were being pulled from neighboring districts to protect Lightfoot’s home. One neighbor reportedly coined the name “Fort Lori” to describe the scene.