Updated Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, 4:29 p.m. EDT: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed the Chicago Police Department’s decision to reprimand two black cops for taking a knee while in uniform this past weekend.
The mayor voiced support for the athletes who chose to kneel in protest during the national anthem, though, and called Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric a “ploy” to distract from his administration’s larger failings.
Yet Emanuel didn’t muster up the same unreserved support for the cops who chose to express solidarity with a Chicago activist.
“There is a difference between an athlete wearing their uniform and a police officer, who is paid by the public, wearing theirs,” Emanuel told a group of reporters, according to DNAinfo Chicago—as though being paid by black people’s taxes has stopped cops from killing black Americans.
The mayor did say he was pleased that the woman who asked the officers to pose with her, Aleta Clark, felt “comfortable enough” to discuss the NFL protests with the officers.
But the department’s reaction to the photo she shared gives little incentive to officers or the community to replicate those kinds of exchanges.
The police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, has been silent on the matter so far and has yet to release a statement on the department’s plan to discipline the officers.
Two black Chicago police officers will be reprimanded for making “political statements” after taking a knee and throwing up Black Power fists this past weekend.
According to the Chicago Tribune, on Sunday, as NFL players were taking a knee in stadiums around the country, Chicago activist Aleta Clark asked two black Chicago cops to kneel with her for the ’gram.
The post, which has garnered nearly 2,000 likes, also caught the attention of the Chicago Police Department, which says the photo violates its ban on police making political statements while on duty.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Police Department, told the Tribune that the department is aware of the photo.
“We will address it in the same way we have handled previous incidents in which officers have made political statements while in uniform, with a reprimand and a reminder of department policies,” Guglielmi said.
Posting on her @englewoodbarbie account, Clark summarized how the photo was taken in her 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.!
DNAinfo reports that Chicago police officers were warned in January about making political statements after a “Make America Great Again” slogan was spotted on the dashboard of a police car at an Inauguration Day protest at the Daley Center.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune and DNAinfo.