Bobby Rush: Chicago police union and KKK ‘are like kissing, hugging and law-breaking cousins’
The police union did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
In a news conference on Thursday, top Chicago police brass, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Rush castigated those caught on tape, including three supervisors, saying their actions were indefensible. The officers entered Rush’s office after vandals had broken in, according to city officials. But they stayed inside, napping, popping popcorn and making coffee. Rush said they left behind a one-dollar bill on his desk, in what he considered a gesture of disrespect.
Rush, who was a founding member of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers, said the Chicago FOP and the Ku Klux Klan “are like kissing, hugging and law-breaking cousins.” He went on to say the union has a long history of protecting its bad apples instead of expelling them from their ranks.
Lightfoot, who made the video public on Thursday, expressed dismay at police in the recording, saying they would be reprimanded.
“Looting was going on, buildings were being burned, officers were on the front lines truly taking a beating with bottles and pipes, and these guys were lounging — in a congressman’s office,” Lightfoot said. “The utter contempt and disrespect is hard to imagine.”
Since the episode drew national headlines, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, Chicago’s largest police union, contended that Rush’s staff had asked that the officers sit in his office on the night of the protests. A Rush spokesman said that was not true.
“Shame on her for ever questioning their valor and the heroism and the officers of CPD to make it sound like they were letting other officers get the crap beat out of them while they sat there and slept,” John Catanzara, the union president, told Chicago’s NBC news affiliate, referring to Lightfoot. “That is a disgusting accusation. She owes the men and women an apology for even implying that was.”
Catanzara himself has drawn controversy — and notoriety — after publicly expressing his support for President Donald Trump. Trump tweeted congratulations to Catanzara when he was elected as union president in May.