Chicago mayoral forum: Lightfoot's rivals mock her claims that anti-violence plans are working

Chicago's nine candidates for mayor fielded questions Tuesday night in a forum that at times turned into a raucous, finger-pointing affair.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has spent a lot of money on ads attacking Congressman Chuy Garcia, and she kept it up at the forum, calling him a disciple of defunding police.

"There are two defunders of the police that are on this stage. Chuy Garcia the original one – in 2011 he slashed the sheriff's budget for adult probation and created a crisis," Lightfoot said.

Garcia was quick to respond.

"That's totally false! Among many other things that she says. If people want to fact-check, they should ask the chief judge if any of those funds were cut. They should also ask the sheriff of Cook County if at any point in my commissionership I sought to do that. It’s one of the other lies she's perpetuating. She's always creating smoke screen to try to cover up her own failures," he said.


For her part, the mayor repeatedly insisted her anti-violence plans are working, despite eye-popping increases just this month in murders and shootings.

Lightfoot’s rivals mocked her claims.

"This mayor was just asked what she would do different, and she doubled down on her failed policies. That is the Lightfoot way," Kam Buckner said.

"Community based policing, that is pushing the police officers down to the local beats so that there are cars covering local beats. Wirepoints reported last year, in a report that they did last year, that there were 400,000 high priority 9-1-1 calls that were not responded to," Paul Vallas said.

"We can actually cut costs in the police budget by making sure again that the staff to worker ratio is actually on par with the national averages," said Brandon Johnson.

Protestors interrupted the forum several times, most loudly heckling teachers’ union staffer Brandon Johnson. He turned to Mayor Lightfoot and said, "Now I know how you feel."