CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the Chicago aldermen leading public hearings on efforts to overhaul the Police Department lashed out Thursday at critics who have called their hearings a “sham.”
Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) was livid that former Police Accountability Task Force chair Lori Lightfoot was quoted as saying some advocates believe this week’s public hearings are a “sham.” Lightfoot told the Sun-Times many people have told her they don’t believe there is genuine interest in input from outside of City Hall, because the meetings didn’t have a detailed agenda for topics of discussion, and were held on short notice on two work days just after the July 4th holiday.
Austin took offense to that suggestion.
“I think that the statements that are being made out in the universe in regards to these hearings are a disservice to all 50 of us. I don’t understand how you could be part of a report, and then say the report is a farce,” she said. “I’m insulted, because the people didn’t elect me to produce farces. They elected me to do just what I’m doing this day.”
Austin and Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) who were co-chairing the public hearings, said there will be more neighborhood hearings in the future, but Austin leveled both barrels at Lightfoot, who still heads the Chicago Police Board.
“Now to say that what we’re doing now is a farce, she can go straight to Hades, and I ain’t talking about the country,” she said.