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*** UPDATED x1 *** Did those police officers really violate the rules?

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017

* Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to criticize two Chicago police officers caught on Instagram kneeling in support of nationwide protests, but said he understands why the department is disciplining them.

“They were somewhat betwixt, between two different aspirations,” Emanuel told reporters Tuesday.

The officers are facing a reprimand for violating department policy against political activity while on duty. “The policy of the Police Department is consistent, I can say this,” the mayor said.

* Sun-Times

After a weekend of sideline demonstrations that swept through the NFL and exposed the nation’s bitter racial divide, the two uniformed African-American officers were photographed “taking a knee” in the lobby of a South Side police station.

The officers are seen kneeling beside a woman whose head is bowed. While the woman’s face is not clearly visible, the photo was posted Sunday on the Instagram account of Englewood community activist Aleta Clark, who is best known for selling T-shirts with the slogan “Hugs No Slugs.”

Clark posted several photos of herself striking a kneeling pose at several locations with children and neighborhood residents.

The photo shows the woman kneeling between the two officers, all three with their fists raised, beside the caption: “That Moment when you walk into the police station and ask the Men of Color are they Against Police Brutality and Racism & they say Yes… then you ask them if they support Colin Kapernick [sic] … and they also say yes… then you ask them to Kneel!”

* But here is what CPD policy actually prohibits

In addition to the positive requirements of all the foregoing sections, the following rules of conduct set forth expressly prohibited acts.

Prohibited acts include […]

Rule 42: Participating in any partisan political campaign or activity.

Look, I get why the department would want to nip this sort of thing in the bud, but how is what those cops did a “partisan” activity? Partisan means something connected to a political party, right?

*** UPDATE ***  And of course this would happen. From Chicago Code Blue’s Facebook page

Hey it's only a reprimand right? God Bless this CPD officer for having the courage to also stand up for what he believes…

Posted by Chicago Code BLUE on Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The organization describes itself as a “coalition of law enforcement supporters whos mission is to support the efforts of our brave men and women of our Chicago BLUE.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Can - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Not partisan, therefore not a violation.

  2. - Shanks - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    Yes. Yes they did. They symbolize the department and city and aren’t authorized nor should partake in political statements. They should be impartial am I right?

  3. - Can - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:14 am:


    Nice straw man you’re trying to erect.

  4. - Carhartt Representative - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    So, they should be impartial on racism and police brutality? This isn’t a partisan issue.

  5. - Real - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    The 2 cops did not violate the rules and its no coincidence that Rahm sides with the police department after he tried to hide the murder of Laquan McDonald. And nor is them kneeling a political act.

  6. - Perrid - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Shanks, the disconnect is that not everyone sees it as a political statement. Says brutality and murder and racism is wrong and should not be tolerated is not necessarily a political statement, or at least shouldn’t be.

  7. - WTF - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    Percentage of NFL players who are African American: 70%

    Percentage of Chicago police officers who are African American: 23%

    Both take action in uniform. One is punished.


  8. - RNUG - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    Like it or not, police are a para-military organization. We expect our military to be apolitical, at least when on duty or in uniform. The two officers in question may not have broken the rules as written, but they did appear to violate the spirit of those rules. Tough call on where the political activity line is, so I can see erroring on the side of zero activity. If the reprimand is just a hand slap with no real consequences or fines, I’m OK with it.

  9. - Back to the Mountains - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Arguably, the perception that the kneeling was done in response to Trump could conceivably push kneeling into the realm of being partisan.

  10. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Started in my bowling league last night. To say there is a general outrage over bending the knee during the national anthem at sporting events would be an understatement. It is beyond a general outrage. With the exception of three bowlers, the rest of the reactions ranged from livid to disgusted. The policemen were also brought up.

    The Cook County Soda Pop tax equalled their revulsion. I didn’t know the County taxed inventory of soda pop until informed by several who own restaurants and one who owns a 7-11. I just assumed it was just receipts on sales.

    If the overwhelming majority of bowlers in my league had their way, all who bend the knee (including the two policemen) should be immediately fired or suspended without pay. NFL teams should rebate all those tax breaks they get for publicly financed stadiums.

    These guys are generally a pretty good weather vane when it comes to politics.

    Rights of free speech and protest? AWOL last night in my league.

  11. - Annonymous - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    Kneeling by itself is not a political action,

    kneeling in response by mimicking the NFL is political action.

  12. - Duh - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    The woman is an activist. She is a partisan. Anyone guessing on her party affiliation? The officers are joining her on her partisan activist statement.

    We are discussing it on a political partisan blog. Questions about its political orientation are insincere.

  13. - lincoln's beard - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    Where’s the Fraternal Order of Police on this? Surely they’re ready to get out in front to lead the fight against the Mayor they hate and vigorously defend these officers against arbitrary administrative discipline, right? Right?

  14. - wndycty - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    I’m not sure about whether the act is partisan, but I fully expect the FOP to be consistent and defend these officers. They do defend African American officers don’t they?

  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    If the officers had stood and stated before a video camera “We’re against police brutality and racism,” would that have been a violation?

    If not, why would an action symbolizing that sentiment be?

  16. - Responsa - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    I am going to assume that the police superintendent Eddie Johnson had a big say on how this was handled. That the kneeling photo took place ON police precinct property with a known and vocal police brutality activist showed very poor judgement and may have tipped the balance. Johnson had to assess and represent the credibility of his entire uniformed police force and I think he is trying to maintain sanity and nip a potentially divisive controversy in the bud within a department which already has plenty of problems for him to deal with.

  17. - cdog - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    More irony, today.

    CPD, the oppressors, are kneeling in support of the the victims of police brutality, the oppressed.

    It’s even more twisted in the fact that these two policemen are represented by a police union that are on the record trying to muck up/stop reforms.

    Per FOP, more perception of oppression is fine. They are not digging the body cam rules, and now the use of force policies.

    I’d like to see all the justice-minded elite athletes come march on Michigan Ave, targeting the FOP’s unwillingness to be part of the solution to this societal nightmare.

  18. - Montrose - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    “The woman is an activist. She is a partisan.”

    Wait. To be an activist is to be partisan? Huh? I have a hunch that this woman would have a fairly long critique of the Democratic party, if asked. Believe it or not, people can fight for an issue without it being tied to a specific political party.

  19. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Why were they doing this on duty? It certainly was a distraction from whatever they were supposed to be doing at the time. The act may not be a violation of the particular policy, but it was certainly a violation of policy as it pertains to dereliction of duty and attentiveness.

  20. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    ===is political action===

    OK, but is it partisan?

  21. - theCardinal - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    The American Flag is a symbol of freedom for oppresesd peoples around the world. It has been desicrated in the streets of those that would be Americas enemies examples of both are far and wide. Soldiers for over two centuries have rallied to and around the Stars and Stripes as have freedom seekers around the globe. While it is disengenuos of some to ignore this it is a fact. Kneeling during the Star Spangled banner or the Pleadge of Allegiance as a government employee diminishes the sacrifices made by untold millions of veterans. There are so many other ways to make your protest state your displeasure known. Public sector law enforcement swear an allegience to the US Constitution, the Laws of the State and the Community they serve. Making political statements on government time is not acceptable.

  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    ===Kneeling during the Star Spangled banner or the Pleadge of Allegiance as a government employee===

    They didn’t do that. Read the story.

  23. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    The Mayor’s hypocrisy is stunning

    Ok for NFL players to protest, in uniform on company time

    Even though Colin Kapernick wore socks depicting police officers as pigs and wore a Fidel Castro t shirt who jailed his political adversaries

    The Mayor believes it is not ok for police to protest in uniform on company time

    What is the difference?

  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    If they appeal, they’ll get it tossed. The brass can say they tried and the rank and file can do what they want. Welcome to CPD.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    ===Kneeling during the Star Spangled banner or the Pleadge of Allegiance as a government employee diminishes the sacrifices made by untold millions of veterans===

    Find Bob Costas’ take on kneeling, then get back… to me

    The American flag, which I love and respect as much as anyone, and I don’t question a single person on either side their love for county, but this idea that the flag is the sole and only symbol for veterans… you need to read or hear Costas’ take.

    Our beloved flag represents so much more than a single idea that is only seem thru veterans and those who sacrificed so much that I know I can’t repay.

  26. - Duh - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:59 am:


    Acknowledgment of partisanship is not required to be partisan.

    Further, the type of protest is popularly regarded as a protest against the current President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party, a partisan.

    And I’m not interested in your hunches. Just logic. Still waiting for some.

  27. - Montrose - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 11:07 am:


    I know plenty - plenty - of folks that support people “taking a knee” that don’t subscribe to any particular political party. The assumption that she or the cops are pushing a partisan political agenda is yours. Complex issues like racial inequity are a lot easier to dismiss if you just write it off as partisan politics at play.

  28. - Can - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    What is politically popular today rarely creates necessary changes. You’ve got to be forward-looking. Plenty of people in this country whipped themselves into an anti-civil rights frenzy several decades ago.

    When you look back at your words and actions 20 years from now, are you going to be happy with yourself? Were you on the right side of history? Did you fight the fight against police brutality and other systemic racism?

    Or, did you take the easy way out? Did you wrap yourself in the flag and pronounce your undying love for a military that not one person was protesting against?

    Make your choice. It’s choosing time.

  29. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    “Hugs not slugs” is partisan? You mean there is a group that is in favor of slugs and not hugs?

  30. - C'mon - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    BLM seems to be closely tied to liberal Democrats.

    They are seldom seen at Trump rallies unless they are seeking to interrupt events.

  31. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    Rich -

    Your legal analysis is correct.

    I believe the earlier commenter was right that this reprimand will get tossed on appeal.

    I think this is also a stunner, from a p.r. Perspective.

    First, opposing police brutality is the official policy of the police department and the administration. If these officers are guilty of partisan political activity, so is the chief.

    Secondly, with all of the criticism of the city being so slow to discipline officers accused of offenses against black citizens, look how CPD moves with lightning speed to discipline officers for opposing police brutality.

    Finally, I think a little history helps. It was not that long ago that city police officers routinely appeared in direct mailers for state reps, state senators, aldermen. Even if the candidate didn’t get the FOP enforcement. Officer’s were routinely seen in campaign ads in uniform, sometimes they would even through in a squad car.

    The rule was intended to put an end to exactly the practice proscribed.

  32. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    Ok for NFL players to protest, in uniform on company time ***

    The Mayor believes it is not ok for police to protest in uniform on company time

    What is the difference?

    You need us to explain to you the difference between a city’s football team and its police department?

    – MrJM

  33. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    I don’t give a darn who kneels and where they do it. But my take on it is that its all huff and no stuff. Accomplishes nothing.

    Several references to Bob Costas. I have zero respect for this guy. He is no role model and should not be giving life lessons.

  34. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    ==the type of protest is popularly regarded as a protest against the current President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party, a partisan.==

    Things don’t automatically revolve around POTUS just because he wants it to be that way or just because the media covers it that way and therefore it is “popularly” viewed that way.

    There was underlying substance at issue. People kneeled before he tweeted (which is how he had something to tweet about).

    The police brutality protest aspect (the only one at issue in the CPD pic) is inarguably nonpartisan.

    The free speech protest aspect (the one at issue in the NFL) is potentially partisan in its impact but is still explicitly nonpartisan, in that the Bill of Rights is nonpartisan.

  35. - L.A. - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    ‘Started in my bowling league last night.’

    So a bunch of white men over the age of 50?

    ‘These guys are generally a pretty good weather vane when it comes to politics.’

    A good barometer for a bunch of white men over the age of 50?

  36. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    – Right of free speech and protest? AWOL in my league last night.–

    So your crew has no respect for what the flag and anthem represent and what soldiers fought and died for.

  37. - titan - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 2:35 pm:

    “Partisan” isn’t always limited to political party scenarios. It sometimes refers to all elective office seeking activity, including those offices with a technically “nonpartisan” format (like the City of Chicago, which has a “nonpartisan” election format, but no one really perceives the Chicago Mayor or Aldermen as not being partisan).

  38. - phocion - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 2:42 pm:

    So, white men over 50 should just shut up and go along with your point of view? Ok, got it.

  39. - don the legend - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    LA, Do your bowling shirts still read “Archie’s Place”?

  40. - L.A. - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    I certainly don’t think that crowd is indicative of how this is playing with the rest of the American people. I didn’t say that I agreed or disagreed with their opinion. I just wouldn’t use them as an example.

  41. - don the legend - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    Sorry. my LA was meant to respond to Mr. Altsaves.

  42. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    The media loves it when we tear each other apart. It sells. They don’t usually cause it, but they love the ‘reportage’ of the brickbats flying back and forth. Yeah, yeah, it’s their job, but man they hate it when things are not flying about.

  43. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 5:05 pm:

    Since when is Bob Costas the authority and spokesperson for Veterans? The only type of battle he’s ever been part of is a fight with Vince McMahon

  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    ===The only type of battle he’s ever been…===

    Your ignorance of what Costas was saying is on display here.


  45. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 5:09 pm:

    –Since when is Bob Costas the authority and spokesperson for Veterans? The only type of battle he’s ever been part of is a fight with Vince McMahon.–

    What then do you think of the credibility of this guy?

  46. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 5:10 pm:

    Be be clearer to intent…

    ===Your ignorance of what Costas was saying is on display here.===

    Did you see, hear, or read Costas’ take?

    Talking about “battle” makes me think you’re ignorant to what Costas actually said.

  47. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 6:30 pm:

    The guy in the “code blue” pic has been the subject of multiple investigations and CPD has tried to fire him several times. Please don’t take him to represent the Department.

  48. - Banks - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 7:09 pm:

    The two cops kneeling is clearly partisan, without a doubt…If Trump would have kept his mouth shut, it would be ‘business’ as usual.
    Sure most are against racism and injustice, but lets not pretend this isn’t impartial, you’d have be living in a cave.

    The updated code blue, he as well should be appropriately reprimanded. Our cops (on duty) should not be taking sides

  49. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, Sep 27, 17 @ 10:14 pm:

    Bob Costas had the same first Amendnent rights as those who kneel during the national anthem. That much i give him. No more.

  50. - L.A. - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 8:47 am:

    “Several references to Bob Costas. I have zero respect for this guy. He is no role model and should not be giving life lessons.”

    This is a little harsh. What did poor Bob Costas ever do to you?

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