Chicago’s mayor ran away when asked about slain cop case: reporters

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s entourage scrambles to get into his SUV as CBS2 reporter Darius Johnson hustles toward them with a microphone. (@dariusjohnsonTV)

CHICAGO — Two television news reporters say Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson ran away when they asked him to comment on the recent arrest of an alleged cop killer. And then the mayor’s office inexplicably claimed that the man they were chasing wasn’t really the mayor—even though two television station cameras recorded it all.

“Mister Mayor! Mister Mayor! Why do you have to run from us?” yelled veteran NBC5 reporter Mary Ann Ahern as Johnson’s security team shuffled him toward a waiting SUV.

At the same time, CBS2 reporter Darius Johnson shimmied past one of the mayor’s security officers and made a beeline for the mayoral SUV.

“Mayor, we just want a comment about the arrest last night in relation to Officer Huesca,” Johnson said as the mayor’s security team climbed into the blacked-out Suburban. As one of the mayor’s detail officers directs Johnson away from the car, Johnson retreats, shaking his head “no” and tossing up a hand in exasperation.

“Mister Mayor!” Ahern cries one last time, “Why would you run from us?”

Johnson and Ahern shared separate videos of their attempts on Twitter. Watch:

“@ChicagosMayor RUNS from me and another reporter as we tried to ask him about the arrest in the death of Officer Luis Huesca,” Johnson wrote.

“Guess my new hip is workin…” Ahern cracked in response to NBC5’s footage, showing her hustling to catch up with the mayor after he slid out the back door of an event.

Of course, it should be easy for a mayor to conjure up a quick thought about the arrest of someone accused of murdering and carjacking one of their town’s cops. Unless the mayor is afraid there might be some uncomfortable follow-up questions.

Making the whole situation even more bizarre, the mayor’s officer claims the man seen scooting into the mayor’s SUV with the mayor’s security detail surrounding him was not the mayor.

“That isn’t Mayor Brandon Johnson in the video and the person that is being filmed running was trying to catch the car before it departed,” the mayor’s office told Johnson, according to the reporter’s follow-up tweet.

The Chicago mayor’s office reportedly claimed that Mayor Brandon Johnson wasn’t in the videos. Here, a member of the mayor’s security team places a guiding hand on the back of a man who looks very much like the mayor as they walk toward one of the mayor’s SUVs after the mayor appeared at an event. (@DariusJohnsonTV)

Ahern concurred: “We definitely chased ⁦@ChicagosMayor⁩, not sure why they’re denying they rushed him out to a back alley exit. You also see his security detail quickly rushing to avoid reporters. ⁦@nbcchicago”

Responses to the reporters’ videos came in fast and hot.

“You know, Mayor Lightfoot’s team did a much better job blocking and tackling so she never really was in a spot where she maybe needed to run,” Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt tweeted. “But she was savvy enough that, if she got surrounded, she wouldn’t run. These are horrible optics for a big city mayor (or any politician)”

Long-time Chicago television news reporter Mike Flannery: “Mayor Brandon Johnson employs Mike Madigan’s time-tested communications strategy…”

“GOD I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS,” WGN’s Brónagh Tumulty tweeted. “If it’s not the mayor (👀), who is it? If it’s not the mayor (👀), where’s the mayor?🕵️‍♀️ Why does this “imposter” have (taxpayer) security? Why would the car have left him? How did @MaryAnnAhernNBC not spot a fake mayor? #Rookie 😉”

Mayor Johnson is scheduled to appear at a press conference this morning where, according to a CPD media advisory, “The Chicago Police Department will discuss the apprehension and charging of Xavier L. Tate for the murder of CPD Officer Luis M. Huesca.”

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, CPD Supt. Larry Snelling, CPD Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti, and the local head of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are also scheduled to appear.

The accused man, Xavier Tate, will appear for a midday detention hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is