Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused Ivanka Trump of playing fast and loose with the facts while highlighting another violent summer weekend in Chicago. But the mayor might want to look in the mirror.
She, too, got her facts wrong.
It happened during a City Hall news conference Tuesday while Lightfoot was playing show and tell to intensify her running battle over, what she claims is the role lenient judges have played in fueling gun violence.
The mayor held up a photo of “custom automatic weapons” that, she claims, have only one purpose — to “kill police officers”— along with a “drum magazine that can hold 200-plus bullets” seized in recent days from two offenders.
“The individuals that were arrested and found to be in possession of these materials got a $10,000 bond. Which means that you have to pay $1,000 to get out,” the mayor said.
“This is a continuing pattern that we’re seeing every weekend. People with extensive criminal histories who are caught with firearms who are given bail … I need to understand from the judges who think that these people are not dangers to the community how I explain that to people on the West Side and on the South Side who, in many instances, are living in a war zone.”
The mayor was wrong.
Only one of the two offenders caught with the firepower Lightfoot showcased has a criminal history. Only one was offered the chance to return to the streets. And the one who posted bond has been placed on electronic monitoring.
DeWayne Hill, 32, is wanted on an out-of-state warrant from Wisconsin. He is currently being held in Cook County Jail on no bail for the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge.
“As to this new weapons charge, you will also be held without bail,” Judge David Navarro told Hill, according to a transcript of Saturday’s hearing.
Jordan Hill, 25, was issued a $10,000 D-bond plus electronic monitoring after the judge was specifically told he had “no criminal background,” according to the court transcript that runs contrary to Lightfoot’s claim about “extensive criminal histories.”
He posted that bond and was placed on electronic monitoring earlier this week.
Lightfoot’s photo-waving exercise — with an assist from Police Supt. Eddie Johnson — left the distinct and, as it turns out, false impression that both offenders were back on the street.
“We keep arresting ‘em. The mayor showed you the firepower. Look at this. This is ridiculous. You’re telling me it’s OK for somebody that possesses something like this to be right back out in a day? I don’t think so,” Johnson said.
“If we continue to not send that mental message of accountability to these individuals, why would they stop doing what they do?”
Pressed on what would be appropriate for those offenders, Lightfoot said, “Detention with no bond.” Anything short of that, she said, sends a message to residents of those neighborhoods that “nobody cares about them. … Nobody cares that they are pinned down in their homes … for fear of violence.”
“Somebody who’s got a long criminal history of violence and who possesses firepower like this has forfeited their right to be out on the street. It is a danger,” the mayor added.
“I can’t go to the communities where these people were arrested and articulate a rational basis for why they should be out back on the street.”
Confronted Wednesday with the facts that Lightfoot got wrong, the mayor’s office stood its ground.
The response was similar to the one issued by the White House when Lightfoot accused Ivanka Trump of “getting the fundamental facts wrong.”
“The mayor has been clear to her point that letting any individual pay $1,000 to walk out of jail the day after being arrested for possession of weapons of war and armor-piercing bullets is not only grossly unacceptable but represents a dangerous precedent that gun offenders won’t be held accountable by the criminal justice system,” the emailed statement issued by the mayor’s office said.
“There remains no rational basis for why this gun offender was released today and back on the streets in our communities. How do we justify this to people in communities who have every right to be free from violence?”