Within a span of less than 24 hours, two Democratic lawmakers – one in Philadelphia, the other in Chicago – who are adamant supporters of the “Defund the Police” movement were carjacked at gunpoint, reports say. U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) was carjacked while attending an event in South Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon, and Illinois State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) was carjacked in a Chicago suburb on Tuesday evening, according to authorities.
Scanlon was held up by suspects armed with a pistol at approximately 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, who pulled up to her blue Acura MDX in a dark-colored SUV and demanded she hand over her keys, personal cellphone, government-issued phone and purse. The suspects then made off with the vehicle, leaving Scanlon shaken but “physically unharmed” by the encounter; her Acura was later recovered in Delaware later that day, and the five suspects inside were all placed under arrest, police report.
Meanwhile, State Senator Lightford and her husband were carjacked by three suspects in masks driving a Durango SUV; the suspects, who were also armed, reportedly fired several shots at the couple while stealing their black Mercedes, although neither Lightford nor her husband were hit or injured, although she later stated that she had been traumatized by the incident.
“First and foremost I am thankful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed. I am trying to process the trauma of what happened,” she said. “I want to thank everyone who has offered their love and support.”
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis in 2020, Scanlon and Lightford have both been outspoken proponents of the “defund the police” movement; both Democratic politicians have co-sponsored bills to that end over the past year, including provisions to cut money from local police funding in favor of hiring mental health specialists to respond to come 911 calls instead.
“We have seen too many lives taken and communities devastated by police brutality and racial profiling,” Scanlon tweeted in the wake of Grorge Floyd’s killing. “Action is long overdue. @HouseDemocrats are fighting for REAL reform in our country’s police departments. #JusticeInPolicing.”