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.
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.”