Rahm Supports Reprimanding Cops Who Kneeled & Raised Fists In Uniform
By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 26, 2017 8:58PM
Getty Images / Photo: Scott Olson
Well, the mayor must have known this question was coming. And perhaps not surprisingly, he offered neither condemnation nor adulation in his response.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday told reporters that the two officers who were photographed kneeling and raising a fist inside a Chicago Police Department building should be reprimanded. But he also wasn't looking to berate the cops either, adding that the action exhibited the "aspiration" of "building better community relations." He also naturally got a dig in at President Donald Trump, who he said delivered cynical misdirection to "distract people from some real large failures," according to the Sun-Times.
Rahm reportedly supported the "culture of consistency" from the Chicago Police Department when it comes to reprimanding officers who make political statements while in uniform. (Rule 42 of CPD's Rules of Conduct states that "participating in any partisan political campaign or activity" while on duty is a "prohibited act.")
He drew a distinction between NFL players kneeling and officers on duty. "There’s a difference between an athlete wearing their uniform and a police officer who is paid by the public who's wearing theirs," he said, according to the Sun-Times.
At the same time, Emanuel said the officers were essentially pulled between two impulses: "One, there’s a policy for the Police Department. The other one there’s a goal of building better community relations."
The photo of the officers was shared on Sunday on the Instagram page of Englewood community activist Aleta Clark on Sunday with 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... and they also say yes... then you ask them to Kneel.!"
A police spokesperson confirmed on Monday that the department was aware of the photo and said it would be handled "with a reprimand and a reminder of department policies."
Emanuel on Tuesday also reportedly claimed that someone walking into a police department and engaging officers was a sign of progress.
A video posted on Tuesday on Clark's Instagram showed the activist addressing the episode with reporters. The caption reads, "I'm not backing down ... I plan to encourage more officers stand against Racism, Police Brutality, and Social Injustice. Humanity doesn't have a Shield and Shouldn't have a Color."