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Journalist William J. Kelly has filed a federal lawsuit against Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown because they revoked his press credentials. He filed the litigation papers with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois late last month.
The reporter accuses the mayor and superintendent violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Kelly feels they took away his press credentials because they wanted “to prevent Lightfoot from being questioned about their failures in the performance of the public offices they currently occupy.”
In his lawsuit, Kelly alleges that “his role as a reporter and journalist has caused [the mayor a] great embarrassment [when he asked her] the hard and embarrassing questions about her obvious failure as mayor.” His line of query: “has and would continue to hurt her chances of being reelected.”
The journalist feels the mayor instructed Brown to revoke his City of Chicago press credentials preventing him from participating in “any more of her press conferences.” Kelly believes that Lightfoot instructed Brown to have an “officer assigned to Lightfoot’s seventy [officers] strong security force to fabricate a report that [he] had bumped into him on July 19, 2022.”
The lawsuit asserts, “The First Amendment guarantees the freedoms of speech and of the press, and those rights are incorporated against the states. The Fourteenth Amendment also guarantees citizens due process and equal protection of the laws. including equal treatment by their government, and due process, which requires fair notice and consideration before the government may revoke access.”
Violating anyone’s rights is ” blatantly unconstitutional.” Furthermore, public officials cannot “target particular news media organizations or journalists for exclusion from access made generally available to other media.”
Kelly has a recording from the day the alleged altercation occurred. According to the reporter, the video shows he pursued Mayor Lightfoot after she dodged his questions at a press conference. The recording shows him being physically blocked by her personnel.
In the video, Kelly is heard shouting “Don’t touch me” repetitively. Mayor Lightfoot’s personnel immediately denied touching him.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Fox News: Chicago reporter sues Mayor Lori Lightfoot as city pulls his press credentials following combative exchanges
The Daily Caller: Reporter To Sue Lori Lightfoot Over This Incident
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