Chicago Police

Rep. Rush Says Officers Caught on Cam ‘Lounging' in Campaign Office Amid Looting

"My popcorn in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their... reach," Rush said. "And they did not care what was happening"

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Videotape shows more than a dozen officers "lounging" in U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush's campaign office, one even making popcorn, as protests and looting erupted in Chicago earlier this month, he revealed Thursday.

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- a scene he assumed was due to looters that had damaged businesses in the area following protests over the death of George Floyd.

But after reviewing videotape, Rush said he learned eight or more officers had entered his office after the break-in, some relaxing at his desk and on a couch. One was on a cell phone while another made coffee and one made popcorn, he said the video showed.

"My popcorn, in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their... reach," Rush said. "And they did not care what was happening."

Rush said he notified an area alderman, who then alerted Lightfoot.

"They took such a lackadaisical attitude, a non-caring attitude in my own personal space while looting was occurring all around them. They didn't care. But I stand here to salute our great mayor," Rush said, applauding her swift response.

On Thursday, Lightfoot released images from the footage.

"These individuals were lounging a congressman's office, having a little hangout for themselves while small businesses on the South Side were getting looted and burned," Lightfoot said.

She promised the incident will be investigated "thoroughly" and the officers involved will be identified and held accountable.

"Not one of these officers will be allowed to hide behind the badge and go on like nothing happened," she said.

The video begins around 1 a.m. June 1 and shows multiple officers at the office at differing times, officials said. In total, as many as 13 officers, including supervisors, were involved, Lightfoot said. At the time, the mall and neighborhood where the office is located, had become targets of looting.

"We had 120 officers injured that night that they sat there," First Deputy Supt. of the Chicago Police Department Anthony Riccio said.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown condemned the officers' actions.

"I'm not playing with you that I mean what I say when I say we'll hold you accountable," Brown said. "Move, get out of the way, but we are going to uphold the nobility of this profession. This conduct is not representative but if it's not let's do something about it."

"If you sleep during a riot what do you do during a regular shift when there's no riot?" Brown added.

The video comes as Lightfoot teased an announcement of "monumental reforms" in the police department.

Several protests have called on Lightfoot to both decrease funding for the Chicago Police Department, and remove officers from Chicago Public Schools - both actions the mayor has indicated she is reluctant to take. Lightfoot has said she believes the push to defund police is not "really what's underlying" the continued demonstrations, but on Thursday pushed a plan to require certification for police officers.

"I have directed my legal team to do the research and draft legislation," she said.

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