A Chicago jeweler penned an open letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, days after his business was damaged in the looting and chaos that erupted downtown, imploring the mayor to "put politics and ego aside" to stop the city's crime.
David Lampert, CEO of Lester Lampert, wrote in a letter posted on social media that the business his great-grandfather started in 1920 was supposed to be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
"2020 was supposed to be a special year for us," he wrote. "We survived the pandemic, but we were immediately hit by a wave of rioting on May 30th damaging our facade and destroying the store we share a wall with on the east side of our building. In the latest rounds of rioting on August 10th our store was actually broken into and we sustained severe damage and loss. This is not how we were hoping our 100th year would’ve been."
Lampert said his great-grandfather handed the business over to his father Lester, who rebranded it in his own name and "built a reputation as one of the finest Jewelers in the Midwest" that serves the "who's who of Chicago." After several moves through the city's downtown area, the store is currently located at 7 E. Huron St. in Chicago's River North neighborhood.
"It is disheartening to see what our city has become," Lampert wrote, noting the recent spike in gun violence across Chicago.
"We are hearing story after story from clients who are afraid to come to the city to see us right now," he continued. "People are terrified to go out in public; As you can imagine, this isn’t good for business."
Lampert said his business employs 25 people and that he supports "peaceful demonstrations and freedom of speech" but also pushed for stronger criminal prosecution.
"However, we must also support law and order, the police and prosecute criminal activity to the fullest extent of the law. The people committing the acts of violence are emboldened by light sentences and lack of consequences being applied. Enough is enough," he wrote.
"Mayor, I’m sure your intensions [sic] are all good but you must put politics and ego aside and work towards fixing these issues once and for all. If it means accepting help from the Federal Government, please take it. I fear we are at a tipping point right now, we will either get Chicago back to it’s great stature amongst the world’s finest cities or delve further into chaos the likes of which will make Detroit of the 80’s & 90’s look like paradise," Lampert's letter concluded.
More than 100 people were arrested in downtown Chicago on Aug. 10 as the chaos also left more than a dozen officers injured, according to police. Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said Thursday that her office had approved 42 of 43 felony cases brought by police.
Most of the cases centered on charges of burglary and looting, but others included attempted murder, aggravated battery and resisting a police officer, theft, criminal damage to property and gun possession, Foxx said.