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