Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot was caught on a hot mic insulting a vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police during a city council meeting Wednesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Lightfoot’s remark will likely strain already tense relations between her and the police union in the wake of the firing of several officers accused of covering for another who was convicted of second-degree murder.
FOP second vice president Patrick Murray was at the meeting to defend those fired officers. As Murray was making his case during the public comments section of the meeting, Lightfoot turned to corporate counsel Mark Flessner and said, “Back again. This is this FOP clown.”
Unknown to her at the time, her mic was on and the remark was broadcast on the live stream of the meeting. Still Lightfoot wasn’t sorry she said it, only sorry she got caught.
“It was not appropriate to say that out loud,” Lightfoot said after the meeting. When asked if she would apologize to Murray, she said “I think I just did. I think I said I shouldn’t have said that out loud. I’m sorry that I said it out loud.”
The FOP posted a critical statement on Facebook:
“Mayor Lightfoot’s contemptuous remark is a misguided and dangerous thing to say to a 30-year veteran police officer and FOP representative, particularly at a time when the city is facing such chronic violent crime. It is also telling that the mayor would not even apologize. The red noses, however, belong on the members of the Chicago Police Board, her former agency, for their despicable decision to fire three police officers and a sergeant last week for no good reason whatsoever.”
The negative relationship between Lightfoot and the FOP will likely hinder negotiations with the union as the two sides seek a new police contract.