Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was enraged after watching a video of police officers relaxing in a congressman’s campaign office as looting occurred in the South Side.
Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush received a call that the office had been burglarized almost two weeks ago. Security footage didn’t show burglars — but about eight officers “lounging” in the office, the Democrat said in a joint press conference with the mayor on Thursday.
“They had their feet up on the desk, one was asleep on my couch in my campaign office,” Rush said. “One had his head down on his desk. One was on his cell phone. They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave.”
The congressman accused the officers of relaxing while looters were “within their reach” at the shopping center where the campaign office is located. Lightfoot called the incident a “personal embarrassment” to her.
The mayor described the officers as having a “little hangout” as businesses in the south side of the city were looted and burned. Lightfoot said the officers depicted in the video showed disrespect to the badge and all officers will be identified.
“And I can tell you one thing for certain, not one of these officers will be allowed to hide behind the badge and go on and act like nothing ever happened,” Lightfoot said. “Not anymore. Not in my city, not in your city.”
Around 13 officers total, including supervisors, entered the office at differing times as the shopping mall where it was located was a target for looting, Lightfoot said.
“Their conduct will confirm the perception that too many people on the South and the West Side were left to fend for themselves,” Lightfoot said. “That police don’t care if black and brown communities are looted and burned.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown offered a personal apology to Rush during the press conference and proceeded to condemn the behavior of the officers.
“I’m not playing with you that I mean what I say when I say we’ll hold you accountable,” Brown said. “Move, get out of the way, but we are going to uphold the nobility of this profession. This conduct is not representative.”