- The Washington Times - Friday, July 24, 2020

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is facing a new round of criticism for her decision to remove a Grant Park statue of Christopher Columbus long before sunrise Friday.

The Democrat said in a statement that recent Black Lives Matter/Antifa gatherings at the park “became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as efforts by individuals to independently pull the Grant Park statue down in an extremely dangerous manner.”

Clashes at the site on Monday hospitalized 18 officers and injured 18 other protesters.

Alderman Brian Hopkins told the Chicago Sun-Times that a “unilateral decision” was made on Ms. Lightfoot’s part. 

“I’m sick of the mayor thinking she can do whatever she wants to do,” said John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, said during the 2 a.m. removal process, the newspaper reported. “She’s not a dictator. She’s a coward that she wanted to do this in the middle of the night when nobody was paying attention after she said she wasn’t going to take the statue down.”

The crowd, however, was not satiated by the mayor’s actions.

“Thank you for the statue, now defund CPD,” they exclaimed, the newspaper added.

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