Fox News’ Katie Pavlich slammed Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to block the media and the public from being able to monitor police scanners, saying it affects reporters’ ability to cover local crime and potentially endangers residents.
“In terms of the police scanner traffic, that’s not just used by media, it’s actually used by a lot of people in these neighborhoods who listen in so that when there is a shooting, or there is a high-speed chase, they know where it is, and they can protect themselves and their families not to go in certain areas,” she said Thursday on “The Five.”
Lightfoot announced in mid-December the city would transition toward the use of an encrypted radio frequency accessible only to those with a decryption key.
The mayor hit back at critics who said the move is a form of censorship, arguing it’s about police safety.
“If it’s unencrypted and there’s access, there’s no way to control criminals who are going to also get access, listen in, and adjust their criminal behavior in response to the information that’s being communicated,” she said at a press conference.
Pavlich said if Lightfoot were really concerned about police safety, she would stop backing soft-on-crime policies.
“The bigger picture is if you really want to protect police officers, Lori Lightfoot would put pressure on the prosecutors to keep the revolving door of criminals off the streets,” she said.
“These cops are encountering the same people over and over again, in the same neighborhoods committing the same crimes, and yet they’re still being let out of jail.”
Pavlich concluded it all comes down to Lightfoot “not wanting people to know what’s going on.”
Co-host Greg Gutfeld agreed, adding the decision to block access to police scanners is a way for Lightfoot to change the narrative about rising crime in her city.
“This is not the priority if you care about police safety,” he said.
Gutfeld explained the mayor has a history of acting like reporters are “betraying” her if they cover the crime crisis.
“I think it is uncomfortable for people like Lori Lightfoot and others to approach this topic because of their culpability in never covering it, never addressing it, and also supporting such progressive policies as no cash bail and reduced sentencing, which you can just directly link to what we are seeing right now,” he said.
A coalition of news organizations claims the decision to block access to scanners will hamper journalists’ ability to cover events as they unfold and their ability to warn the public of threats.
The city of Chicago echoed Lightfoot’s assertions in a statement, saying the move will enhance officer safety. The media and the public will have access to a delayed 30-minute public transmission, according to officials.
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