Emanuel Says There Will Be 'Disciplinary Action' Taken After Rhymefest Blasts Police for Handling of Robbery Report - NBC Chicago

Emanuel Says There Will Be 'Disciplinary Action' Taken After Rhymefest Blasts Police for Handling of Robbery Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith was robbed at gunpoint in Chicago, and took to Twitter to blast the reaction of police officers when he tried to file a police report. (Published Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016)

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the officer who handled hip-hop star Che "Rhymefest" Smith's robbery report over the weekend will face discipline.

    "There will be disciplinary action taken," Emanuel said Monday. "This is an example not just for the officer but for everybody. He is coming in to report robbery, being held up, and you can’t respond that way."

    “Rhymefest” said he was robbed at gunpoint in the city's Bronzeville neighborhood early Saturday, but when the two-time Grammy winner went to report the crime, he was nearly thrown out of a police station.

    Smith recorded part of his encounter at the Grand Crossing Police Station and posted it, along with a string of messages about the incident, on Twitter after the mugging. 

    Smith accused a woman at the station of ignoring him when he tried to make a report and instead eating food and playing Candy Crush. He said later that another officer then tried to take his report, but told him to keep his hands where she could see them and began questioning his story.

    Smith said he asked to see a supervisor and was then told to leave the station.

    "This whole time I’m being treated like a criminal," he said. 

    That's when he pulled out his phone and started recording. 

    “I don’t feel comfortable,” Smith said on the video, as officers tell him to turn off the camera. “When the camera goes off, you start telling me to get out, I can’t make a report.”

    Eventually, Smith said he was able to make a report with the officer.

    "I told her, 'All I wanted was to be treated serious with concern and like you were a professional,'" Smith told NBC Chicago. "And she said something that I’ve never heard a police officer say. She said, 'We go thorugh this 100 times a day, we’re desensitized.' For me, that’s more problematic than the robbery."

    Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted an apology shortly after the video was posted saying, “Disappointing to say the least. On behalf of CPD, I apologize for how you were treated. We will be addressing this today.”

    Emanuel noted that Chief of Patrol Fred Waller called Smith to apologize on behalf of the department for how he was treated. An investigation into the robbery is ongoing. 

    Smith said he hopes to meet with Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to discuss the culture in the department. 

    An apology, he said, isn't enough.

    "You can’t give me an apology that you didn’t give the other people who reported a crime and were dismissed," he said.

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