Business & Lobbying

McDonald’s CEO: Texts about slain children in Chicago lacked ‘compassion and empathy’

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McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski apologized on Tuesday for comments he made about slain children while texting Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, saying they lacked “compassion and empathy,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

In a note to McDonald’s corporate employees, Kempczinski said he “was thinking through my lens as a parent and reacted viscerally” when he texted that the parents of the children fatally shot “failed those kids,” according to the Tribune

“But I have not walked in the shoes of Adam’s or Jaslyn’s family and so many others who are facing a very different reality,” Kempczinski added. “Not taking the time to think about this from their viewpoint was wrong, and lacked the empathy and compassion I feel for these families. This is a lesson that I will carry with me.”

Kempczinski reportedly texted the comments after a meeting with Lightfoot at the Chicago McDonald’s headquarters in April. One of the shootings, in which 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams was killed, occurred in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane the day before Kempczinski met with the Chicago mayor. The other shooting happened three weeks earlier, when 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a Chicago officer during a chase.

“With both, the parents failed those kids which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix,” Kempczinski wrote to Lightfoot, according to the Tribune.

“Thanks, Chris. Great to see you in person. Such a great work space, and your folks were terrific. I said to Joe I would be happy reach out to the operator to offer support. He and his team members have got to be traumatized. Terrible tragedy. Thanks again, Chris,” Lightfoot reportedly replied.

A Lightfoot spokesperson said on Tuesday that victim shaming “has no place in this conversation,” according to Tribune.

The texts were released via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by a Vancouver man, reports the Chicago newspaper.

Tags Chicago Chicago Chris Kempczinski Illinios Lori Lightfoot McDonald's McDonald's Shooting

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