Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stepped in it again and publicly blamed Chicago retailers and other businesses for the lotting that is out of control in the city. Lori said with a straight face:
“We also got to push retailers. Some of the retailers downtown and on Michigan Avenue, I will tell you, I’m disappointed that they’re not doing more to take safety and make it a priority.
“We still have retailers that won’t institute plans like having security officers in their stores, making sure that they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night.
“Chaining high-end bags, these purses can be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units,” she said.
Rob Karr, the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, didn’t buy it and correctly blamed the failed leadership in the city for the crime surge.
“The comments that retailers need to do more are sadly misinformed.
“I think it ignores the fact that retailers spent hundreds of millions of dollars every year on security.
“You can’t buzz everyone in and out the door. We’re not going to put the entire store behind glass cases or under lock and key.
“Retail doesn’t work that way.
“We have a fine line to walk.
“I don’t think the mayor wants a line of armed personnel in every store.
“Criminals take advantage of the weakest links, and right now Chicago looks like the weakest link, because the very leadership that ought to be addressing this together with us, is fighting with each other over who’s to blame,” he said.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki distanced the Biden administration from recent comments made by progressives Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Mayor Lightfoot over their responses to the uptick in organized smash-and-grab robberies in big cities.
Psaki was asked during her daily press briefing by Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich to weigh in on comments by Ocasio-Cortez, who cast doubt on the existence of mass smash-and-grab robberies, and Lightfoot, who appeared to place part of the blame on retailers for not better protecting their merchandise.
“We don’t agree,” Psaki responded bluntly, adding that the Biden administration has been working with the Justice Department and FBI in providing resources to boost local police departments.