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Chicago police seen drinking coffee, sleeping on a couch in a congressman's office during riots


'These are absolutely a bunch of cowards'

Image source: NBC News video screenshot

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said surveillance images show at least 13 Chicago police officers in his office eating popcorn, drinking coffee, and even taking naps, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"They had their feet up on the desk, one was asleep on my couch in my campaign office," Rush said, according to NBC News. "One had his head down on his desk. One was on his cellphone. They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave.

"These are absolutely a bunch of cowards in blue uniforms," Rush said, MSNBC reported.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot personally apologized to Rush during a news conference Thursday. She said officers were lounging in Rush's office while other officers were dealing with the riots in the streets.

"That's a personal embarrassment to me," Lightfoot said. "I'm sorry that you and your staff even had to deal with this incredible indignity."

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown apologized to Rush for the officers' behavior.

"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."

Chicago police union President John Catanzara ripped Lightfoot's "despicable" news conference and said that the unrest in the streets had been controlled before the officers went into Rush's office. That does not, however, explain or justify their presence in the office.

Lightfoot said she intends to push against the union to enact reforms to hold Chicago police more accountable, taking advantage of a moment when policing nationwide is being reevaluated publicly.

"I think we're at a moment where the things that we felt like were impossible, that, politically, just weren't feasible, I think we're in a moment where we have an opportunity to make this happen," Lightfoot said, according to the Tribune. "And, look, even when it may be difficult, if it's right and righteous, we must act."

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