Reporter banned from press conferences by Mayor Lori Lightfoot SUES her for First Amendment attack

‘This is a very serious constitutional crisis in Chicago’: Reporter who was banned from press conferences by Mayor Lori Lightfoot SUES her for an ‘attack on the First Amendment’

  • Journalist William Kelly had his press credential revoked over the summer following what he says is a made up altercation with Lightfoot’s security 
  • Lightfoot has a renowned short fuse and is frequently caught in viral moments losing her temper at anyone from reporters to political foes 
  • Kelly is now suing Lightfoot and the police superintendent for violating his First and 14th Amendment rights
  • He says the only way to keep the city’s elections free and honest are to hold City Hall to a constitutional standard that includes respecting the free press

A Chicago journalist is bringing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to court for her ‘attack on the First Amendment’ after the controversial city leader had the reporter’s press credentials revoked.

William Kelly, who has long covered Chicago crime and City Hall, appeared on Fox & Friends on Wednesday to recount an exchange he had with Lightfoot back in May, during which she told him he was ‘full of crap.’

In the video clip, Kelly confronts Lightfoot about the rhetoric of a tweet she sent, in which she wrote, ‘To my friends in the LGBTQ+ community – the Supreme Court is coming for us next. This moment has to be a call to arms.’ 

In Chicago, the First Amendment is on life support, if not dead

Kelly asked the mayor if she would ‘rescind your call to arms tweet in light’ of the most recent Chicago mass shooting.

Striking a hostile tone, Lightfoot half-shouted at Kelly, ‘No sir, I will not stand down.’

She then grew truly irate and lost her temper, yelling, ‘You’re not gonna talk over me,’ at Kelly.

‘You will stop speaking,’ she commanded him, before dealing her final blow, ‘you’re full of crap.’ 

Chicago journalist William Kelly is suing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for violating his First and 14th Amendment rights after he was barred from City Hall press conferences

Chicago journalist William Kelly is suing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for violating his First and 14th Amendment rights after he was barred from City Hall press conferences

Lightfoot is seen on tape repeatedly blowing up at Kelly when he asks her questions that are not to her liking. He alleges that she conspired with the city's Police Superintendent to have his press credential revoked

Lightfoot is seen on tape repeatedly blowing up at Kelly when he asks her questions that are not to her liking. He alleges that she conspired with the city’s Police Superintendent to have his press credential revoked

Lightfoot, who is known for her bizarre antics and short fuse, then arranged for Kelly to be stripped of his press credentials in an attempt to avoid Kelly’s questions permanently.

In September, Kelly appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight and alleged that, following the confrontation, Lightfoot worked with Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown to fabricate an altercation between him and the mayor’s security detail.

The allegedly made up incident report was used as pretext to bar him from future press events.

Now, Kelly is suing Lightfoot and political appointee Brown on the grounds that the pair violated his First and 14th Amendment rights.

‘The problem is that [Brown] sat down and wrote me a letter telling me that he was revoking my media credentials when the police department is down 1,500 officers, we have an out-of-control crime epidemic, police suicide is at an all-time high,’ said Kelly.

‘He’s taking time out of his day to write me a letter telling me that he’s revoking my media credential. I think the priorities are completely out of whack,’ he said.

Kelly said that Lightfoot is currently in election mode and concerned that viral confrontations about her ‘failures in performance’ are not best practice for her campaign.

To quell the politically bad look, however, Lightfoot is allegedly attempting to silence the US free press and set a dangerous precedent by doing so.

‘She wants to win this case against me and then expand this attack on the First Amendment to all the reporters who ask her real questions or any reporter nationally who would dare to ask a real question of a powerful politician,’ said Kelly.

Kelly told Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy about how Lightfoot lost her notoriously short temper with him and subsequently had him banned from City Hall press conferences

Kelly told Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy about how Lightfoot lost her notoriously short temper with him and subsequently had him banned from City Hall press conferences

The journalist insisted that his case against Lightfoot is necessary to preserve the honesty and integrity of the city’s forthcoming election.

‘They say you can’t fight City Hall, but we need to fight City Hall to restore the First Amendment if we’re going to have an honest election,’ he said.

The First Amendment, he continued, ‘is on life support, if not dead’ in Chicago.

Lightfoot, 60, has been mayor of the notoriously violent city since 2019. She is up for reelection this year after serving the majority of her term during the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant few in-person press conferences with members of the media.

When Lightfoot began addressing the press in person again, Kelly was one journalist who confronted the Democratic politician about the issues plaguing her city.

In April of this year, Kelly asked her how she could ‘possibly even consider running for re-election for mayor of the city of Chicago after all the harm you’ve caused?’

Kelly had rattled off a list of examples of her failure to lead the city.

‘Every time you have a press conference you say crime is down, the economy is booming,’ he said before she cut him off.

Ultimately, Lightfoot told him she disagreed with him ‘fundamentally’ and ‘I don’t think I need to address and dignify your comments one second further.’

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