Chicago Mayor snubs Frey by abruptly withdrawing from forum

Nobody’s saying exactly why Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot abruptly withdrew from a high profile virtual forum with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey scheduled for Friday. But the Chicago Tribune strongly hinted that the reputation of Frey and the city he allowed to descend into chaos that erupted nationwide more than preceded him.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot pulled out of a virtual roundtable hosted by Crain’s Chicago Business to avoid appearing on the same digital stage as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob  Frey, who has been a lightning rod for criticism after the  police killing of George Floyd, sources told the  Tribune.

Lightfoot had been scheduled to join political consultant David Axelrod “and the mayors of two Midwest cities on Wednesday to discuss how COVID-19 and recent civil unrest will define the future of our nation’s cities,” according to a since-deleted Crain’s Facebook post.

But Lightfoot abruptly withdrew from the event earlier this week, and sources with knowledge of the situation said the mayor’s team told Crain’s her cancellation was to avoid being on a virtual stage with Frey.

The tone of the paper’s coverage gives Minnesotans a clue as to how the rest of the world views us following the rioting, looting and arson unleashed in Minneapolis, leading the way for massive violent disruptions by rioters and vandals embedded among protesters in Chicago and other cities.

Frey has been roundly criticized since Floyd’s killing spurred national protests and civil unrest. After Floyd’s death, a Minneapolis police station was burned down and members of the City Council vowed to radically transform the police department.

What does it say when the mayor of the city with the worst violent crime problem in the country makes the political calculation that there’s only a downside to appearing with her Minneapolis counterpart to discuss how to handle civil unrest among other issues?

But Lightfoot, who’s as far-left as Jacob Frey, apparently isn’t in lockstep when it comes to addressing the wave of violent crime sweeping the country amid the anti-police animus. She recently accepted President Trump’s offer of federal law enforcement assistance to tackle violent criminals terrorizing the Windy City. A former federal prosecutor herself, Lightfoot leads the “biggest city in the United States not to endorse some form of defunding police.”

Whatever her reason for snubbing Frey, it doesn’t reflect well on him or Minneapolis.