Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is tightening her grip on press and public access to 911 scanners in a sweeping censorship move, sparking outrage from members of the city’s press corps.
“The city’s plan will impact our ability to provide timely, accurate and potentially life-saving news to you,” a group of outlets said of the alleged censorship.
William Kelly, an area reporter whose press credentials were yanked earlier this year by Lightfoot, shared his disdain for the ban Wednesday on “Fox & Friends” where he slammed its “Orwellian” implications.
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“This is not only censorship, this is malicious censorship,” he told Steve Doocy.
“She pulled my media credential, I sued her in federal court and sadly the Chicago media press corps hasn’t said a word about [the case.]”
“First, they came for [me], now Lightfoot is coming for the entire Chicago press corps.”
Blocking access to 911 scanners raised concerns that not only will local media outlets struggle to deliver fast and accurate news based on information gathered from them, but the public will lack a crucial safety resource which can help determine whether specific locations across the city are safe to visit.
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“[People] don’t want to walk out their front door before checking to see if there’s a drug-crazed criminal standing between their front door and the corner drug store,” Kelly said.
According to Doocy, residents and the press will now turn to city hall for crime statistics instead of delivering or receiving the news firsthand.
“This is Orwellian censorship… the citizens of Chicago are basically their own first responders now. They need these police scanners in order to know if there’s a violent offender out on parole standing in front of their front door with a knife or a gun or something else…” Kelly added.
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Kelly said he hopes his lawsuit against Lightfoot will succeed and pushed back against her censorship.
“This is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. … This is dystopian and more Chicagoans will die as a result of her actions.”
Doocy said the mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.
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