Lightfoot shoots down rampant rumors that CPD superintendent is on his way out
“People who don’t like how we’re moving forward and breaking up the status-quo are trying to spread ugly, offensive and false rumors in order to create chaos,” the mayor told reporters after Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “And some of you are taking the bait.”
David Brown is Chicago’s police superintendent “today, tomorrow, in the future. Done,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday, shooting down what she called “dangerous, de-stabilizing and insulting” rumors that Brown is on his way out.
For the second time in three days, Lightfoot felt the need to use her bully pulpit to dismiss rampant rumors spreading in the echo chamber that is social media.
Over the weekend, the mayor took to Twitter to knock down rumors about her own personal life.
On Wednesday, it was the rumor about Brown supposedly being ready to cut and run and return to Dallas that she was seeking to dispel.
“David Brown is the superintendent of this police department today, tomorrow, in the future. Done. We are done,” she said.
“People who don’t like how we’re moving forward and breaking up the status quo are trying to spread ugly, offensive and false rumors in order to create chaos. And some of you are taking the bait.”
Lightfoot was just getting warmed up in her attack on one of her favorite targets — City Hall reporters who write stories she doesn’t like.
“We need a vibrant, thorough media in this city that pushes all of us. Holds all of us accountable. But you are not doing that when you roll around in the depths of cesspools created by anonymous people on social media,” she said.
“When you see this madness circulating on social media, you don’t have to be fish and bite at every piece of chum that’s cast in the water.”
For the second time this week — and probably the fifth or sixth time in the year since Brown arrived in Chicago — Lightfoot said she remains “a thousand-plus percent” behind her hand-picked superintendent.
She brushed aside complaints from a handful of aldermen that Brown has been about as low-profile a superintendent as Chicago ever has had on high-profile cases, including the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.
“The superintendent has been appropriately present in the right places at the right time. He has been out in the community. ... He has been out there at roll calls and doing what, I think, a superintendent must do who is still forming relationships with a range of different people,” she said.
Lightfoot said “standing up and holding a press conference in full regalia” is not the measure of leadership — it’s the “quiet things you do sometimes to build real, authentic relationships” and “be there” for people who need help.
“That is the way that David Brown leads and I support him a thousand-plus percent,” she said.
“These are fraught times. There are times when you lead with soft power. There are times you lead with other kinds of power. And I think he’s making the right calibrations in the moment that we’re in and I support him.”