Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s “Census Cowboy” is being charged with animal cruelty and his horse euthanized after riding his horse down a major expressway as part of a social justice protest.
The protest ride seriously injured the horse, forcing veterinarians to put it to sleep.
“Adam Hollingsworth, 33, was held on $25,000 bond during a court appearance Wednesday after he was charged with a felony count of aggravated cruelty to an animal, as well as misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct, trespassing and other traffic offenses,” local TV station WTTV reports.
Despite being charged with various crimes, including animal cruelty, Hollingsworth says he would do it again in the name of social justice.
“Would I do it again? Yes, I’d do it again,” he tells WTTR. “I’ve been in jail, I had a background, I’m not perfect … That was something worth going to jail for.”
Hollingsworth rode his horse at full gallop down the Dan Ryan Expressway to promote the “Kids Lives Matter” movement, which calls for more social spending on children’s programs.
Riding a horse at full gallop on hard pavement can seriously injure it. When the horse’s hooves began to break and bleed from the abuse, Hollingsworth began whipping and kicking it harder.
At this point, local police had been forced to block the expressway and follow Hollingsworth, who was illegally riding in traffic during the afternoon rush hour.
The horse eventually collapsed, and could not be saved. Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni says due to severe blood loss and dehydration, “the horse’s eyes were dilated to the point they looked like cartoon eyes.”
Hollingsworth is known as the “Census Cowboy” after being hired by Lightfoot to promote Census participation. Census numbers are used to determine congressional representation and federal aid, so liberal politicians and groups have been heavily urging urban residents to be counted.
During a July 13 press conference, Lightfoot put on a bright green cowboy hat announced she was “calling out the ‘Census Cowboy’” to round up Chicago residents, telling Hollingsworth to ride his horse into urban areas to draw attention and promote participation. Hollingsworth is being paid for the program, but not through tax dollars, according to Lightfoot’s office.
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