U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush on Thursday said videotape he acquired shows more than a dozen police officers "lounging" in his South Side Chicago campaign office while neighboring stores were looted.
Rush, who made the announcement alongside Chicago police leadership and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, said he received a call nearly two weeks ago telling him his office at 5401 S. Wentworth Ave. had been burglarized, which he assumed was due to looters that had damaged businesses in the area following protests over the death of George Floyd.
Here's what Rush said he saw on the video, as stated during a Thursday press conference called by Lightfoot:
Let me begin by saying some three years ago I did not give this mayor the benefit of the doubt. Today I stand here without any doubt, any doubt, any doubt in my heart, in my mind and in my spirit that she is absolutely committed to the well-being of all of Chicagoans, bar none. I have watched her on local news, local commentaries. I watched her on national news. As late as yesterday I watched her on Morning Joe.
And this mayor gets it. She speaks and provides a voice to all those who have no voice, who live lives mostly in quiet desperation. … She has a heart for this city, a heart for the black and brown community, a heart for those who are on the margins of our society, a heart for those who are downtrodden, and a heart for those who are seeking a way out. This is the era of Lori Lightfoot. And I intend to do all that I can within all my capability to make this era of Lori Lightfoot the absolutely best era that this city has seen.
She has been a reconciler. Of the many differences that she didn’t create, but she has the compassion and the resolve to ... encourage to correct. And I wanted you to know that. Again, I'm so proud of her leadership, her voice, her understanding.
Two weeks ago on a Sunday, and then on a Sunday evening, early Monday morning I got a call that my campaign offices at 55th and South Wentworth had been burglarized. And … had a video tape of eight or more police officers lounging in my office as what I assume looters were [burglarizing] stores in the shopping center where my office is located at.
We looked at the video tape and we saw eight or more police officers including three in white shirts in repose, relaxing during these most [difficult] times. They had their feet up on the desk, one was asleep on my couch in my, at my campaign office. One had his head down on the desk. One was on his cell phone. They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight, within their reach. They were in a mode of relaxation, and they did not care about what was happening to business people, to this city. They didn't care. They absolutely didn’t care.
I called Ald. Dowell last weekend and asked her will she contact the mayor tell the mayor I have a video of these police officers in their mis- or no conduct, lack of conduct, and I wanted to share that with her.
I am so amazed, so thankful that it didn’t take four hours since I talked to Ald. Dowell that the mayor was on the phone calling me, asking me can I come down to City Hall. I told her that I had some obligation at my church. And she said, well what time do they end? And I said well, they end at 7 o’clock. Can you be here at 7:30? Last night at 7:30 I showed up here at City Hall, the mayor waiting for me, the police superintendent waiting for me. She wanted to view this video tape.
I was absolutely, I am absolutely amazed at her response, how she takes it personally, that these police officers while on duty, in uniform, white shirts involved, how they took such a lackadaisical attitude, a non-caring attitude, violating my personal space while looting was occurring all around them. They didn’t care. But I stand here to salute our great mayor because, although the policemen in that office in repose, in relaxation didn’t care, our mayor cared. She did care. And I’m so glad to be here this afternoon standing with the mayor who cares.