Chicago mayor says officer shown giving ‘the finger’ to protesters should be fired

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants an officer who was photographed giving protesters the middle finger to be fired.

Lightfoot was asked at a press conference on Friday about Chicago Police officers allegedly attempting to conceal their names and badge numbers from protesters while seen making obscene gestures.

“It won’t be tolerated. We are actively at work identifying the officers who are responsible,” said Lightfoot.

“In my view, they forfeited their right to be Chicago Police Officers,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot said she has seen a photograph of an “officer in uniform giving people the finger.”

“We’ll find that person and in my view, that person needs to be immediately stripped of their police power and start the process for firing him,” Lightfoot said.

Photographer Colin Boyle tweeted the photo on Thursday and said the officer was in a van with about a dozen other officers trailing a group of protesters. The officer, Boyle tweeted, was “clearly flipping off the protesters from the van.” He also shared video of the moment.

The Chicago Police responded to Boyle on Twitter and said, “CPD strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with dignity & respect. We do not tolerate misconduct of any kind, & have opened an investigation into this incident.”

The department is also reportedly investigating at least one officer who allegedly covered up both his badge number and name tag, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, mirroring accusations in at least two other cities of law enforcement personnel seen on the streets without proper identifiers.

At least 14,000 complaints were filed against Seattle police officers after last weekend’s protests, and some of them included claims of officers who allegedly covered up their badge numbers, according to the Seattle Office of Police Accountability. And Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote President Donald Trump a letter on Friday expressing concern over “unidentified federal personnel patrolling the streets.”

On Tuesday, Lightfoot announced police accountability reform measures, a $10 million fund for businesses that were harmed in the looting and violence, and spoke out in support of the protests that have gripped the city since George Floyd’s death last month.

“I stand with those who are sick and tired of the lack of fundamental change. Change that results in the respect, dignity, and freedom that Black people deserve in this country,” Lightfoot said.

She also made clear that she does not support violence and destruction, saying, “I will never stand for letting our pain spill over into violence and destruction against our communities. I will never stand for stealing the dreams and livelihoods of our neighbors.”