By: Mark Glennon*
As reported by CBS Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered a parking ban from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday in the neighborhood of Philadelphia Romanian Church in response to its intention to hold services. No parking/tow warning signs went up the evening before.
On Sunday morning the police arrived to enforce the signs not just on churchgoers but on residents and everybody else. A report by Second City Cop said cars were towed and that the church’s private lot was blocked off.
However, a representative of the local Chicago Alderman questioned that account in part, saying that as of 10 A.M. the police denied that neighbors were ticketed or towed, and that the private lot to the church was also not closed by the city. And an NBC Chicago story said only that police stood outside the church and gave tickets. I also reached the church pastor who said he did not believe any cars were towed. Nevertheless, no-parking/tow warnings were clearly posted and police were there to do the enforcement.
Perhaps Lightfoot doesn’t share the view that civil liberties come not from her hand or the hand of Governor JB Pritzker. The church’s pastor said this: “The mayor is inciting hate against the church which is very sad. A lot of our members risked their lives to escape Communism, only to find it germinating in 2020 under Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago.”
He continued: “We prayed for the mayor and the governor almost every evening since March 19. We will continue to pray for them. Yet, we are also aware of our constitutional rights. Their effort to intimidate us will make us stronger.”
And let’s hope Lightfoot will explain her sense of justice in punishing everybody in the neighborhood by having their cars banged up and towed to the city’s infamous pound.
Find the rebels’ neighborhood and bulldoze it, that’s sort of the thinking. Nobody should be surprised because Pritzker is doing the same. He threatened to withhold federal money from any municipality that defies his emergency order. Tough luck even for residents in those communities who support Pritzker’s order. Some justice.
Some Chicagoans — no doubt including some who had their cars towed — indeed are on Pritzker’s side. They even had their own protest, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, against churchgoers at Philadelphia Romanian and some other churches. This “is really indicative of a clear, right-wing cult mentality that they have,” one of the protesters said. “They would rather keep themselves in business, keep themselves earning money, instead of caring about the residents of this neighborhood, which many of them, including the pastor, are not a part of.”
A fascinating aspect of the shutdown is who have been among those most frequently standing up for civil liberties: cops!
Around the state, many police chiefs and other enforcement officials have said they won’t enforce Pritzker’s emergency order. The Illinois Sheriffs” Association, in response to Pritzker’s threats to those who won’t enforce his order, said, “It is outrageous that the Governor is threatening retaliation against these leaders and the men and women of their offices. He is insulting heroic police officers, corrections officers and local voters.”
So, whatever you call what’s become of Illinois, don’t call it a “police state” because so many of our police want no part of any such thing.
And Second City Cop is a blog run by current and former Chicago police officers. They reported this initially. About Lightfoot’s towing they concluded:
It should also be a clarion call to the churches across the city as to how far the left will go to crush the faithful of all denominations. You are only useful to them as far as you obey orders and do what you’re told. If you don’t speak up now, expect the same to happen to you in short order.
This story was updated May 18 and May 19, 2020 to delete quotes from Second City Cop about cars being towed, and to add the partially conflicting account by the representative of the local alderman and the church pastor saying no cars were actually towed. The headline was also changed accordingly.
*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.
Read more about COVID-19 and the impact on Illinois:
- Pritzker’s overly-restrictive shutdown rules make Illinois a national outlier
- Half of Illinois’ deaths linked to retirement homes. Five key facts you should know.
- Indifference to Illegality of Illinois Stay-at-Home Order is Frightening
- Wirepoints analysis reveals 92 percent of Cook County COVID-19 victims had pre-existing conditions
- With New FDA Action, Gov. Pritzker and Dr. Ezike Have No Excuse for Further Stonewalling Antibody Testing
- Pritzker’s top-down reopen strategy will fail large parts of IL: He should expect pushback
- Governor Pritzker’s Plan to Reopen Illinois Makes No Sense
- COVID-19: Seven facts that tell us Illinoisans can and must get back to work
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