Bobby Rush

Timeline: Officers Were in Rush's Office for 5 Hours During Looting, Mayor Says

According to the mayor, the video recording began at around 1 a.m. on June 1, hours after looting erupted in several neighborhoods, including at 5401 S. Wentworth Ave.

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Officers were captured on video "lounging" in U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush's Chicago campaign office during looting in the city for at least five hours earlier this month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

According to the mayor, the video recording began at around 1 a.m. on June 1, hours after looting erupted in several neighborhoods, including at 5401 S. Wentworth Ave., the plaza where Rush's campaign office is situated.

The congressman's office had already been broken into, but officers at the scene later entered the damaged space, laying down on a couch, sleeping and making coffee and popcorn, video shows, according to Lightfoot.

"My understanding from the congressman is the looting in that particular plaza started, I believe much earlier in the day, late morning at the latest and it carried on throughout the day," Lightfoot said.

The looting continued overnight at the same time as many as 13 officers could be seen relaxing in Rush's office for at least five hours.

"My understanding is that the officers were there for five hours, possibly longer. And you'll see when you're able to when we're able to get the video fully downloaded and processed that they came in and out. It was a small core group initially, and then as its height, it was about 13 officers, three white-shirt supervisors, and 10 are their officers."

Rush, who made the announcement alongside Chicago police leadership and 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.

Rep. Bobby Rush announced several Chicago police officers were caught lounging in his campaign office while looters struck area businesses earlier this month.

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.

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.

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