Dear Mayor Lightfoot,
First of all, let me tell you that I have been a resident of Chicago since 1995. I moved from Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend DePaul University. After graduating, I stayed here and have built my life. I own a condo in Rogers Park with my wife and daughter. I love Chicago and our community here in the mid-west.
I support the peaceful protests over the killing of George Floyd and all individuals by the hands of the police in this country. As you know, this has happened here on our soil. The people have a right to demonstrate. I do not condone the destroying of property or looting of business, particularly local Chicago businesses. I believe in my heart, that those individuals doing this, do not represent the overwhelming majority of people who support demonstrating peacefully. I am writing this to underscore the importance of not letting the few destroy the positive actions of the many.
I am also upset to have learned about the tactics that the city and the police department used this weekend to break up protests. Raising the bridges, stopping the public transit, and effectively blocking demonstrators from leaving if they wanted to, put those people in danger. When most demonstrators are unarmed and not causing any harm, it is not right for the police to descend on them with riot gear, clubs, and gas. That is escalating, not de-escalating. What does that look like to people outside our city? The media will cover the violence and the destruction. It makes everyone look bad, and unfortunately it reflects on you and the city.
I have never written to any mayor before. But I felt compelled to say something. I know you want peace. I know you don't want destruction and pain. We want to move forward; as a city, as a nation, and as humans. For the love of the people in this area, please do what you can to move Chicago in the right direction, so we can be a symbol for other cities in America.
sent at 10am on Monday, June 1st to letterforthemayor @ cityofchicago.org