“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.! ✊🏿👏🏿 #ColinKaepernick #WeSupportYou” reads the caption of a photo flooding today’s social media.
Two Chicago officers–names not mentioned–were reprimanded after posing in a photo with an anti-violence activist named Aleta Clark (a.k.a EnglewoodBarbie on instagram).
Anthony Guglielmi, a point man for the Chicago PD stated the reprimand resulted from a violation which conflicted with the department’s conduct guide, Rule 42, forbidding uniformed officers from “participating in any partisan political campaign or activity” (Astor 2017, p.3).
Clark took to social media to get her followers to stand behind these officers for supporting the Black community and to commend the two for risking their jobs while ascending over the backlash they received. She boasted about the officers deserving the support for recognizing that racism and police brutality still exists.
Guglielmi rationalized the consequences the officers received for taking a knee when he revealed that other officers from the same police department who engaged in behavior that violated the department’s conduct guides were also reprimanded earlier this year.
Guglielmi pointed out the effects of being bias as an on duty officer when he stated “Police officers must serve and protect people on both sides of any given issue… They can’t effectively do that if they are perceived to take one side over another. So when officers are on duty and wearing the uniform, there are no sides, just service to anyone who needs them” (Astor 2017, p.7). He makes it clear that the same ramifications would not have been applicable had the two officers not been “on duty” and “in uniform.”
Maggie Astor, author of the article titled “2 Chicago Police Officers Take a Knee, and Get a Reprimand” points out why Clark’s picture is so significant in the city of Chicago. She states the justice department has recently uncovered civil rights violations and lawsuits filed due to Chicago policemen abusing their authority.
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel went public expressing his support for the punishment the officers received and stated that the Department was consistent. Mayor Emanuel confessed that the two officers “were somewhat betwixt, between two different aspirations” (Astor 2017, p.10): having the urge to be professional in the workplace while relating to the public.
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Astor, M. (2017, September 27). 2 Chicago Police Officers Take a Knee, and Get a Reprimand. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/us/chicago-police-kneeling-photo.html
Grimm, A. (2017, September 25). Chicago cops face reprimand for ‘taking a knee’ in Instagram photo. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-cops-face-reprimand-for-taking-a-knee-in-instagram-photo/
The Advise Show TV . (2017, September 28). Re: 2 black chicago cops reprimanded after taking a pic with Activist in support of Colin Kaepernick 2 black chicago cops reprimanded after taking a pic with Activist in support of Colin [Video blog comment]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrgV22_irok