Chicago, IL – Chicago Police Department is investigating two officers who were pictured kneeling in a photo, with their fists in the air, after they apparently forgot where they work.
To make things clear: police officers do not have the right to say whatever they want on or off-duty.
Department policies regulate officers’ speech. While the policies are more strict for on-duty speech, officers are frequently disciplined or fired for off-duty speech and photos.
The two Chicago police officers now find themselves in trouble after activist Aleta Clark posted their kneeling photo to Instagram.
Clark is known for selling t-shirts which says “Hugs No Slugs.”
Along with the photo of the officers kneeling with her, Clark posted the caption:
“That Moment when you walk into the police station and ask the Men of Color are they Against Police Brutality and Racism & they say Yes… then you ask them if they support Colin Kapernick… and they also say yes… then you ask them to Kneel!”
Kneeling for the national anthem started with Colin Kaepernick saying that he was protesting the police. Now these officers are pictured apparently protesting themselves, or their fellow officers, or something. Do kneelers even know what they are kneeling for?
Clark then posted a video complaining that she tried to get support from the “European” officers, but no one would kneel. She is apparently referring to white officers as “European” because of the idea that white people don’t exist.
“You know what?” Clark said. “I actually don’t want you to kneel. I know exactly what kind of police officer you are, sergeant.”
Now the police department has responded to inquiries about the photo.
“We are aware of the photo, and we will address it in the same way we have handled previous incidents in which officers have made political statements while in uniform, with a reprimand and a reminder of department policies,” Chicago PD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Sun Times.