Reporter Sues Lightfoot Over Yanking His Press Pass

Chicago reporter William J. Kelly filed a federal lawsuit against Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Department Superintendent David Brown. They’re stomping all over his First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights by daring to revoke his press credentials.

Reporter won’t be silenced

An investigative reporter has been badgering Lightfoot until the mayor’s eyes bug out but he’s allowed to do that. William J. Kelly is a professional. There was only one chilling reason to yank his press pass. “They have done this for the most cynical and contemptible reason that can be imagined,” he writes.

To prevent Lightfoot from being questioned about their failures in the performance of the public offices they currently occupy.” His lawsuit says “their” and “they” because it’s a devout lesbian.

Lightfoot, the reporter notes, “desperately wants to prevent anyone from questioning [it] about [it’s] multiple failures in office or about the false statements [it] makes, at press conferences.

After defunding the police right out of existence and spawning the biggest wave of crime the Windy City has seen since Al Capone, it thinks it can get re-elected as mayor. The only way it stands a chance is by keeping “[it’s] dismal performance as mayor” totally out of public site. It doesn’t deal well with criticism.

The reporter is totally barred from attending any more of its press conferences since Lightfoot directed Brown to revoke Kelly’s City of Chicago press credentials.

All because the journalist “caused great embarrassment for Lightfoot by asking the hard and embarrassing questions about [its] obvious failure as mayor.” It seems to think his sharply pointed questions “hurt [its] chances of being reelected.


Framed by the cops

Lightfoot and Brown knew that they would never get away with censoring a popular reporter outright, so they cooked up a scheme to justify silencing him.

According to Kelly’s complaint, Brown “directed a police officer assigned to Lightfoot’s seventy officer strong security force to fabricate a report that Kelly had bumped into him on July 19, 2022. Brown then used this false report as a pretext to revoke Kelly’s press credentials on August 8, 2022.

There is only one problem with that story. It never happened. “In fact the entire episode where this bump was falsely alleged to have taken place was videotaped by Kelly and this video shows no such bump took place.” The reporter knows that’s “blatantly unconstitutional.

Our hallowed document clearly says “a public official may not target particular news media organizations or journalists for exclusion from access made generally available to other media.

Each and every reporter is covered under the First Amendment which guarantees the freedoms of speech and of the press. It was meant to protect the right to criticize the government. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizens due process and equal protection of the laws. That includes “equal treatment by their government, and due process, which requires fair notice and consideration before the government may revoke access.

What really happened on July 19 is that Kelly dogged Lightfoot out of a press conference when it ducked his question and was “physically blocked by [its] personnel.” The way the top cop who set it up describes it, Kelly committed “aggravated battery to a police officer” and that he “on two occasions deliberately bumped by pushing his upper body into the upper left arm of” one of the security guards, “thus causing him to receive a battery.

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