Reporter Sues Chicago Mayor As City Pulls His Press Credentials

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After having his press credentials withdrawn, a Chicago reporter sued Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown in federal court.

Journalist William J. Kelly sued the United States in the lawsuit. Lightfoot and Brown are accused of violating his First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights, according to a lawsuit filed in late August in the Northern District of Illinois District Court. The lawsuit claims that Lightfoot and Brown did this “They have done this for the most cynical and contemptible reason that can be imagined, to prevent Lightfoot from being questioned about their failures in the performance of the public offices they currently occupy.”

Lightfoot has instructed Brown to revoke Kelly’s press credentials from the City of Chicago, preventing Kelly from attending any more of her press conferences. Kelly, in his capacity as a reporter and journalist, has caused Lightfoot great embarrassment by asking the difficult and embarrassing questions about her obvious failure as mayor, and because this has and would continue to hurt her chances of being reelected.

Kelly said that Brown instructed a police officer working for Lightfoot’s security team of 70 people to fake a report claiming Kelly had run into him on July 19, 2022, at Lightfoot’s request. On August 8, 2022, Brown subsequently revoked Kelly’s press credentials using this fake claim as justification. In actuality, Kelly filmed the whole occasion where the supposed bump occurred, and this footage demonstrates that no such thing occurred.

This is obviously against the law. A public official is not allowed to single out specific news media outlets or journalists for exclusion from broad access provided to other media. The freedoms of speech and the press are protected by the First Amendment and are asserted in opposition to the states. Citizens are also entitled to due process and equal protection under the law under the Fourteenth Amendment. includes fair warning and deliberation before the government may remove access, as well as equitable treatment by their government.