Respected longtime Chicago reporter William J. Kelly has filed a federal lawsuit against city Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown over losing his press credentials.
Kelly filed suit claiming that both Lightfoot and Brown violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, saying “they have done this for the most cynical and contemptible reason.” Namely, they do not want the mayor to be questioned about failures in public office.
Kelly alleged that Lightfoot does not want the spotlight shown on false statements she makes at press conferences because of her bid for reelection. She is also, the reporter claimed, trying to keep her dismal performance from being highlighted.
The suit said that Kelly has caused “great embarrassment” for Lightfoot.
Kelly said in the filing that Brown directed an officer to falsely allege that the reporter bumped into him on July 19 of this year. He said that he personally videotaped the entire incident and no such “bump” occured.
That was the excuse, he claimed, for revoking his press credentials.
Reporter William J Kelly bravely facing our incompetent #Chicago
mayor and her paid supporters. #Chicago#Illinois#DemocratsAreADisaster
Reporter Is Physically Harassed at a Lori Lightfoot Press Conference https://t.co/KFNJT55h9v
— Annie The Irish Patriot 💚 (@CheerfulPatriot) July 22, 2022
Kelly’s recording reportedly showed that he followed Lightfoot after she refused to answer a question at a press conference. He was allegedly physically blocked from approaching the mayor.
Kelly repeatedly shouted at the city officers “Don’t touch me,” according to the footage.
An August 8 letter to Kelly from Superintendent Brown informed the journalist that his press credentials were revoked “as a result of actions which occurred on July 19, 2022.” A case incident report was attached accusing the reporter of “aggravated battery to a police officer.”
The report said that Kelly twice deliberately pushed “his upper body into the upper left arm” of a security guard, “thus causing him to receive battery.”
Kelly noted that the incident came just a day after he questioned Lightfoot about a trip to Paris funded by taxpayers on which she brought along donors.
The reporter contributes to the Daily Mail and has long been a thorn in the side of Chicago’s politicians. The suit outlined several exchanges with Lightfoot where he took her to ask for the city’s crime rate and even claims that it is improving.