Tag Archives: Cops

Chicago Cops Burglarized U.S. Rep’s Office as Protest Raged. They Made Popcorn, Drank Coffee, Napped.

Chicago Cops Burglarized U.S. Rep’s Office as Protest Raged. They Made Popcorn, Drank Coffee, Napped.As protests across Chicago devolved into chaos last week and residents started to loot nearby stores, police officers were making popcorn and drinking coffee while “lounging” inside Congressman Bobby Rush’s office, officials said in a stunning news conference on Thursday. Speaking alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Rush said at least 13 Chicago Police officers burglarized his South Side campaign office in the early hours of June 1 and were “relaxing” while nearby stores were being looted and burned, and their fellow officers were clashing with demonstrators. “They even had the unmitigated gall to make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave, while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight and within their reach,” Rush (D-IL) said. The incident, which Rush and Lightfoot said was captured on CCTV, showed the officers—and at least three supervisors—with feet up on desks. One officer “was asleep on my couch” while another “was on his cellphone,” Rush said. “They were in a mode of relaxation and did not care about what was happening. They did not care. They absolutely did not care,” Rush added.Rush’s office is located in a strip mall that had been looted for several hours that night. It wasn’t clear whether the office had already been damaged before the officers made their way in but Rush said he got a call that the premises had been burglarized and, when he finally got around to viewing the CCTV, he was horrified to see it filled with cops.The shocking news comes amid scrutiny of Chicago cops, who have been accused of using excessive force during protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the FBI are reviewing allegations that one Chicago officer pulled a woman from a car by her hair before placing a knee on her neck—a move similar to how Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Lightfoot, at times visibly angry and tearful during the Thursday press conference, said the officers “demonstrated a total disregard for their colleagues [and] for the badge” and should be held accountable. She said she and her team were “enraged” when they learned of the incident. None of the 13 officers has been identified, and she urged them to come forward before investigators find them. Calling it a “personal embarrassment,” Lightfoot offered an apology on behalf of the city, saying the officers had “abandoned” their obligations to keep the city safe. She said she would push for the state to pass a law requiring police officers to be licensed. “We should all be disgusted, and we should all feel hurt and betrayed in this moment, of all moments,” Lightfoot said, adding that the officers were inside Rush’s office, located in a shopping plaza that had been looted for about “four to five hours.”Chicago Police Supt. David Brown also condemned the officers’ actions, stating that he planned to hold them accountable and “uphold the nobility of this profession.” “If you sleep during a riot, what do you do during a regular shift when there is no riot?” Brown asked, before apologizing on behalf of the police department.Rush, the co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party, has been a member of Congress since 1993. The Democratic lawmaker has had a tense relationship with Lightfoot in the past, after Rush falsely accused her of being the Fraternal Order of Police’s preferred candidate in 2019. While he was campaigning for a Cook County Board president last year, Rush said those who vote for Lightfoot would have “the blood of the next young black man or black woman who is killed by the police” on their hands. Seemingly alluding to their history on Thursday, Lightfoot said that, despite their differences, she would work together with Rush against misconduct during a historical period of reckoning for the police. “We haven’t always agreed on every issue but today, we are in total alignment in our righteous anger and our steadfast determination, and I want to make sure that’s very clear,” Lightfoot said. “What I know of Congressman Rush is this—he has committed his life to calling out and fighting against injustice and this presents exactly one of those moments.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Buffalo Cops Who Shoved Elderly Man Charged With Second-Degree Assault

Buffalo Cops Who Shoved Elderly Man Charged With Second-Degree AssaultTwo Buffalo cops were arraigned on Saturday on one count each of assault in the second degree, after they allegedly shoved a 75-year-old demonstrator during anti-police brutality protests. Martin Gugino, a longtime peace activist in the upstate New York city, hit his head on the pavement and was left on the ground as blood pooled around his head on Thursday evening. He remained in hospital in a serious but stable condition on Saturday.Initially, city officials claimed Gugino had tripped and fell. However, a video surfaced showing riot police, who were clearing Niagara Square at the time, clearly pushing Gugino over and walking by his motionless body. The video had been viewed 78 million times by Saturday.When the two officers, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, were suspended without pay on Friday, all 57 officers in the department’s Emergency Response Team quit the elite unit in protest. Hundreds of Buffalo police officers showed up to the courthouse to back the pair on Saturday, after the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association reportedly circulated text messages drumming up support. Police and other supporters reportedly cheered when one of the officers exited the courthouse.Some supporters wore “We Back The Blue” t-shirts and held up umbrellas to block news cameras attempting to show the pro-police protesters. Torgalski, 39, and McCabe, 32, both pleaded not guilty to a class D felony and were both released on recognizance after brief virtual appearances in Buffalo City Court.Shortly after, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in a press conference that the two officers “crossed the line” and “violated the law.” He cited a New York State law which says if a victim is 65 or older, and is assaulted by someone at least 10 years younger, a felony can be charged.Flynn added that the officers could have arrested Gugino if he was committing a crime. “You arrest him. You don’t take a baton and shove him, along with the officer next to him… You properly arrest him, if he was committing a crime.”The Terrifying History of Bad Cops in BuffaloHe denied any suggestions of unfairly targeting police, pointing out that his office had prosecuted 39 “protesters that became agitators” as well.The city’s black mayor, though, stood by the police officers, saying he had not asked for them to be fired, and it was very important that they “know they are getting due process.”Byron Brown also argued that the 75-year-old man was an “agitator” who had been asked to leave previously. “What we were informed of is that that individual was an agitator,” Brown said. “He was trying to spark up the crowd of people. Those people were there into the darkness. Our concern is when it gets dark, there is a potential for violence.”John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, said the officers were following orders to clear the square of all people, regardless of age. “They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip in my estimation. He fell backwards,” he told The Buffalo News on Friday.However, Erie County Executive Marc Poloncarz said Friday he was “exceptionally disappointed” by the mass resignation. “It indicates to me that they did not see anything wrong with the actions last night,” he said at a press conference.Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the video made him nauseous and he supported a criminal investigation by the Erie County District Attorney.“What we saw was horrendous, disgusting and, I believe, illegal,” Cuomo, a former attorney general, said Saturday.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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NYC Police Union Claims ‘City Will Fall Apart’ Unless Cops Taken Off Social Distancing Enforcement

NYC Police Union Claims ‘City Will Fall Apart’ Unless Cops Taken Off Social Distancing EnforcementThe New York City Police Benevolent Association, the city's largest police union, released a statement Monday arguing that officers should not be tasked with enforcing social distancing ordinances."The NYPD needs to get cops out of the social distancing enforcement business altogether," PBA president Patrick Lynch said in a statement. "As the weather heats up & the pandemic continues to unravel our social fabric, police officers should be allowed to focus on our core public safety mission. If we don’t, the city will fall apart before our eyes."The city's police force has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 4,000 officers testing positive for the illness and 30 dead over the course of the outbreak. In early April, almost 20 percent of the entire 36,000-strong police force was on sick leave for coronavirus or other illnesses.Enforcing social distancing in the city is made exceedingly difficult by the city's density and residents' reliance on public transport. NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea said Monday that police issued about 70 summonses over the weekend for violations of social distancing regulations."This is a great experiment we’re living through here," Shea told reporters at a press conference. "Really never seen this before in a city of 8.6 million people trying to keep everyone inside."The NYPD on Saturday arrested three people in a group violating social distancing measures, and video of the altercation was shared in local media. The force also faced criticism after allowing mourners to gather at the funeral of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Brooklyn. After more mourners gathered than were initially predicted, police were forced to break up the funeral.



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