Speed Reads

calling it like he sees it

Rep. Bobby Rush: Chicago's largest police union and the KKK are 'like kissing, hugging, and law-breaking cousins'

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) on Sunday blasted the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, Chicago's largest police union, telling Politico the organization is "the No. 1 cause that prevents police accountability, that promotes police corruption, that protects police lawlessness."

On Thursday, video footage was released from late May, showing Chicago police officers sitting in Rush's office for several hours as George Floyd protests raged outside. They took naps and made popcorn and coffee, all while other officers "were on the front lines truly taking a beating with bottles and pipes," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, adding, "The utter contempt and disrespect is hard to imagine."

It actually wasn't too difficult for Rush to envision, as he told Politico the union goes out of its way to offer protection to cops accused of serious violations rather than clear them out of the department. "The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is the most rabid, racist body of criminal lawlessness by police in the land," he declared. "It stands shoulder to shoulder with the Ku Klux Klan then and the Ku Klux Klan now." In fact, he added, the union and the Ku Klux Klan are "like kissing, hugging, and law-breaking cousins."

John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, claimed to NBC 5 Chicago that Rush's staff asked law enforcement to go into the office; a spokesman for Rush said this is untrue. He also accused Lightfoot of questioning the "valor" and "heroism" of police officers. Chicago Police Supt. David Brown took a different stance, saying he will hold the officers "accountable" while upholding "the nobility of this profession."