Cops relax as looters hit nearby shops
By Patrick Forrest
A total of 13 Chicago police officers were caught on camera lounging in the office of Congressman Bobby Rush at 55th and Wentworth, while the strip mall adjacent to the office was being looted. In announcing the video Representative Rush was joined by Mayor Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown, describing what was seen during the incident which happened on Monday, June 1.
“They even had the unmitigated gall to make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave, while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight and within their reach,” Rush (D-IL) said.
“They were in a mode of relaxation and did not care about what was happening. They did not care. They absolutely did not care.”
Following the story and images going public, the Fraternal Order of Police labor union backed the officers, arguing that officers would not simply relax in the Congressman’s office, bringing up the possibility that they were invited in to protect the office and that the images were being viewed out of context.
FOP Lodge 7 First Vice President Michael Mette has stated that he thought the officers were set up – and claims it was the mayor’s way of deflecting blame for her own incompetence and was just the latest tool the mayor wanted to use to remove protections from officers accused of wrongdoing.
Congressman Rush came to the defense of Mayor Lightfoot arguing that the Fraternal Order of Police is one of the large barriers to police accountability, with the former Black Panther comparing the group to the Ku Klux Klan.
“The number one cause that prevents police accountability, that promotes police corruption, that protects police lawlessness, is a culprit called the Fraternal Order of Police,” Rush said referring to Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7.
“They’re the organized guardian of continuous police lawlessness, of police murder and police brutality. The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is the most rabid, racist body of criminal lawlessness by police in the land. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the Ku Klux Klan then and the Ku Klux Klan now,” Rush continued.
Despite the pair coming to each other’s defense now, Rush and Lightfoot did not see eye to eye during Lightfoot’s mayoral campaign. During a campaign rally for Lightfoot’s opponent Toni Preckwinkle, Rush declared “the blood of the next young Black man or Black woman who is killed by the police” would be on the hands of Lightfoot voters, according to published reports.p
“We haven’t always agreed on every issue but today, we are in total alignment in our righteous anger and our steadfast determination, and I want to make sure that’s very clear,” Lightfoot said. “What I know of Congressman Rush is this—he has committed his life to calling out and fighting against injustice and this presents exactly one of those moments.”