Lori Lightfoot made her name as a candidate for mayor by criticizing Chicago’s police. Now running for reelection, she has pivoted toward sounding tough on crime.

In a high-profile instance this week, Lightfoot even talked tough on the rights of the accused. People charged with violent crime should be held in jail before trial, Lightfoot said, because “they’re guilty.”

Well, not quite. In fact, after someone is charged, there is a proceeding called a trial. The accused is presumed innocent. Judges and juries have the ultimate say on guilt or innocence, not tough-talking politicians seeking reelection.

Surely Lightfoot knows this. Most Americans do. Yet Lightfoot chose her over-the-top rhetoric out of apparent frustration with parts of the city’s criminal justice landscape she cannot control: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans and a surge in violent crime that has vexed Chicago for the last two years.

Read more at the chicagotribune.com.

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.