Two Chicago police officers will be reprimanded after a picture went viral on social media showing the pair kneeling alongside a local activist, with a department spokesman claiming that their punishment stems from their making a political statement while in uniform.
The photo in question surfaced on the Instagram account of Aleta Clark, who wrote on Sunday: “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.!”
Clark’s post currently has about 2,100 likes and many comments indicating solidarity with the gesture.
“Just saw this on the news I support you and these officers,” one person wrote, while another offered: “Love this so much.”
However, the Chicago Police Department had a different take on the matter.
“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,” CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote in an email to the Chicago Tribune.
The post comes as President Donald Trump and his supporters find themselves at odds with the NFL, which has seen hundreds of NFL players and officials protest the national anthem by sitting, kneeling, or raising their fists. The movement has been attributed to former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the anthem when he still played for the San Francisco 49ers.
“Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “NFL should change policy!”
Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
In response, NFL commissioner blasted Trump’s comments as “divisive” and insisted: “The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture.”