Rahm Blasts Hostile Cop Dismissive Of Rhymefest's Mugging Report
By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 29, 2016 9:30PM
Che "Rhymefest" Smith
Rapper/activist Che “Rhymefest” Smith said he was treated “disgustingly” by police when he attempted to file a report after being mugged at gunpoint on Saturday—and it looks like the city’s top official agrees with him. Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday criticized station leadership and promised an officer would face disciplinary action for the dismissive way Smith was treated at a Chatham police station.
“If an individual walks in to report they were held up, you have a responsibility to hear them and treat them fairly,” Emanuel said, according to the Sun-Times. “The issue should be that he was held up at gunpoint while he was in his car with his mobile phone,” he added. “It shouldn’t be how a guy came in to do a citizen report of what happened to him become the event.”
As he documented in a series of viral tweets, Smith was held up by an armed robber around 7:30am on Saturday. The offender climbed into Smith’s car, pointed a gun at his head and took his wallet, which according to Smith only had three dollars.
To the young brother that put the gun to my head this morning & took my wallet. You don't know how you just damaged your community.— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
It's 730am. you just put a gun in my face for $3 in my wallet. I defend you against police brutality, I work on your behalf you robbed me— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
I'm not even mad, I'm fuckin' hurt.— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
But things didn’t get much better when he went to report the crime. A video posted to Smith’s Twitter shows an officer demanding Smith not record and a second officer—who appears visibly disinterested—claiming a supervisor asked Smith to leave. Smith says in the video that when he first entered the station, an officer with whom he spoke kept eating and playing Candy Crush while he attempted to relay information about the crime. “You wonder why we don’t report crime?” he tweeted. “The police treated me disgustingly.”
You wonder we don't report crimes? The police treated me disgustingly pic.twitter.com/fY9VQrqDpz— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) August 27, 2016
CPD Communications Director Anthony Guglielmi tweeted an apology to Smith later that day, after the video was widely circulated.
@RHYMEFEST disappointing to say the least. On behalf of CPD, I apologize for how you were treated. We will be addressing this today.— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) August 27, 2016
Emanuel struck a similar note today, guaranteeing the officers won't treat someone like this similarly, the Sun-Times reported:
"I’ll guarantee they won’t treat another resident like this. And I guarantee that other officers will look at this and say that shouldn’t happen. It’s not even in training. It’s common decency. He is the victim of the crime. Therefore, he deserves a different type of treatment — both as a citizen of the city of Chicago and [as] somebody who has turned to police for help. That’s the fundamental. If they’re turning to you for help, your attitude should be more receptive than he was treated."