Video released of Chicago police 'lounging' at US congressman's office and making popcorn while nearby shops looted

One officer appeared to have fallen asleep on a couch in the congressman's vandalised office

Griffin Connolly
Washington
Thursday 11 June 2020 21:25
Comments
Chicago mayor responds to police 'lounging' at US congressman's office and making popcorn while nearby shops looted

Images have emerged of Chicago police officers kicking their feet up on desks, making popcorn, and brewing coffee in the burglarised district office of US Congressman Bobby Rush last month as rioters were looting nearby stores, the congressman announced at a joint press conference with Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

About two weeks ago, Mr Rush received a call that his South Side district office had been vandalised as some anti-police-brutality protests broke out into riotous behaviour.

When he later reviewed the video surveillance footage, he saw that at least eight Chicago police officers, three of whom were supervisors, had entered his office and lingered there while looters ravaged a nearby shopping centre.

One officer appeared to have fallen asleep on a couch in the congressman's office.

“They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn — my popcorn — in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight and within their reach,” Mr Rush said at the press conference on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether the officers in Mr Rush's office had been ordered by higher-ups to stand down to the looters. A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Rush informed Ms Lightfoot of the video footage on Wednesday. The officers' actions "enraged" her, she said.

“That’s a personal embarrassment to me,” Ms Lightfoot said.

“I’m sorry that you and your staff even had to deal with this incredible indignity," she told Mr Rush at the news conference.

Mr Rush, a longtime civil rights activist and co-founder of Illinois' Black Panther chapter, and Ms Lightfoot, a former Chicago Police Board president and chairwoman of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, have long had a contentious relationship.

During Ms Lightfoot's runoff election for mayor last year against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, whom Mr Rush endorsed, the congressman accused Ms Lightfoot of having made "an alliance with the devil" by working with the city's police department.

“If any young black male or female is killed by a police officer, under a Lightfoot administration, then the blood would be on those voters’ hands who elected her,” Mr Rush said during the 2019 mayoral campaign.

But at the joint press conference on Thursday, both Mr Rush and Ms Lightfoot appeared to have set aside their differences.

The mayor "is absolutely committed to the well-being of all Chicagoans, bar none," Mr Rush said at the press conference, adding he could make such a statement "without any doubt."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in