Defund Chicago Police, state senator says
|State Senator Celina Villanueva|
By Tim Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-11th) is one of 10 lawmakers who recently condemned the Lightfoot Administration over the Chicago Police Department’s response to protesters in the Loop.
The 11th District includes portions of Midway-area city neighborhoods, as well as other city neighborhoods and suburban towns.
The letter she signed was penned by United Working Families, a leftist political organization.
The letter was written in response to police actions on the weekend of Aug. 15-16, when police responded to pushing and hitting by protesters (one protester was seen whacking a police officer over the head repeatedly with a skateboard) with pushback that included pepper spray, arrests and what appeared to be kettling, a crowd-control tactic in which police essentially surround protesters on three sides and prevent them from leaving an area.
“Sixteen people have been shot so far this weekend, including a 12-year-old boy,” the statement read. “The murder clearance rate is abysmally low. Seventy percent of the deadlines for the federal consent decree, intended to protect civilians from police violence, remain unmet. And this weekend, thousands of officers were sent downtown by Mayor Lightfoot to beat and pepper-spray anti-violence activists who were begging to be allowed to disperse peacefully.
“This is the opposite of safety—this is violence," the statement continued. "It must stop. That begins with Mayor Lightfoot ordering a de-escalation of police surveillance and abuse, defunding a department that has failed to protect people from harm, and re-investing those resources in the things people truly need—like cash payments, healthcare and non-violent crisis intervention services—in order to be cared for.”
Joining Villanueva in signing the letter were Aldermen Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez, Andre Vasquez, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and Jeanette Taylor. State lawmakers signing on included Robert Peters, Lakesia Collins and Theresa Mah. Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson also signed.
A Villanueva spokesman acknowledged a news reporter's request for further comment, but said he was not sure if the senator would respond. She has not.
Last month, Villanueva signed into a UWF letter to Lightfoot and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, urging them to refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement agents deployed to Chicago.
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