Finally, the Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) acknowledges that what Police Officers face at work is not always black and white. On February 9, 2017, BIA cleared two of our Officer (one Caucasian and one Hispanic) from any wrongdoing over has now been proven to be a clear case of false allegations of racial profiling made by U.S. Representative Bobby Rush.
Representative Rush wasted no time using what appears to have been his connections (or in Chicago terminology, his clout) as a member of Congress when Officers pulled him over last summer on the south side in a $60,000 maroon Lexus SUV. Mr. Rush quickly cried “foul” and accused the Officers of racially profiling him during the traffic stop which occurred last summer on the city’s south side. It is a narrative that many politicians seem to be spreading as “alternate facts” to the reality of Policing.
As was reported in a Chicago Tribune article, a 7 ½ minute video fortunately captured this entire incident. The FOP has been asking for a long time that these are the types of videos that need to be released and we ask that the media now spread this video like it does so many others involving our Officers. But that surely wouldn’t encourage viewers or help sell papers. Here, this video conclusively shows the level of professionalism, respect and decorum exhibited by both Officers. Kudos to these two members of the Chicago Police Department!
Interestingly, the video also shows the indignation of an elected Official, who just happens to be African American. When stopped, due to fact that the license plates affixed to his vehicle did not match the one being driven by Mr. Rush, he was all too quick to demanded to know the name and star number of the first Officer. Mr. Rush then goes on to say, “This is my district, and I have never been so embarrassed and humiliated." When the female Officers calmly responded that he should not be embarrassed, Mr. Rush curtly responded, “"Don't tell me what I should be...I am what I am."
Not surprisingly, Mr. Rush quickly filed a complaint against the Officers later that day, in which he alleged what has become a common mantra in the city of Chicago: he had been pulled over for no reason other than the color of his skin. What Mr. Rush did not know (or did not care to learn) is that the Police Officers had been told at an earlier roll call that same day to be on the lookout for high-end vehicles due to a series of vehicle thefts which occurred in the area where the stop took place.
t did not take long for Mr. Rush to declare, “"My name is Congressman, U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush. And this is a government-leased vehicle," like that in and of itself should matter. After BIA concluded its investigation, a CPD spokesmen praised the Officers in the following statement: "The video footage from this traffic stop provides a firsthand look into the professional actions of Chicago Police Officers that occur throughout the city every day."
If only that narrative starts spreading throughout Chicago, just think how better the relationship would be between the community and the women and men who protect our streets. That is a colorful thought during the midst of a dark winter.
Another problem that stems from this situation is that these Officers now have a CR (Complaint Register) number attached to their jackets. A CR that never should have been filed. One day down the road, our detractors will look upon the files of these two Officers (who did absolutely nothing wrong) and see that a ‘racial profiling’ complaint was filed against them. How unfair is that? Their files will never address how the unwarranted the complaint was, nor will their files close out the complaint under the “bogus” category, which is where it belongs.
To our Officers, keep doing what you do on our streets. The Lodge and the law-abiding citizens of our city are constantly reminded of why we remain so very proud of the work performed by the women and men in blue who go out and risk their lives every day. Neither of these two professionals Law Enforcement Officers needed to apologize for doing their job, but it appears they might have. Maybe that too came about due to Mr. Rush’s clout. But we believe that it is time for Mr. Rush to contact these two Officers and to apologize for what HE did.