CHICAGO - The head of the Chicago police union is blasting Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Bobby Rush over their response to a video which showed officers taking refuge in the congressman's office while looters ransacked nearby businesses during protests almost two weeks ago.
Fraternal Order of Police President John Cantanzara says the looting happened earlier in the night on May 31 and that these officers were "lounging" around after the looting was already over.
Cantanzara says the officers had originally been assigned to 87th Street and the Dan Ryan, and their own food they had brought with them had been looted.
Cantanzara says later, the officers were bussed over to Rush's campaign office at 55th Street and the Dan Ryan, and that they remained there for several hours because they were instructed to.
The officers were on 12-hour shifts and had worked hard earlier in the evening, according to Cantanzara. He says this was a necessary break.
Lightfoot has called the actions of the officers seen in the video "disgraceful" on a night when their fellow officers were dealing with likely one of the most challenging night's of their careers.
Rush said that while they were in his office, the officers ate his popcorn, drank his coffee and slept on his couch, which Cantanzara took issue with.
"Rush wants to make a big deal about coffee. Again, they had no food or drink. If he wants to send me a bill for the coffee or popcorn, I'll be more than happy to reimburse them," Cantanzara said. "But you know, call me crazy I think that that coffee of popcorn was bought with taxpayer money, which I'm pretty sure all of those officers in that office were taxpaying members."
Many people have been weighing in on the video including Lightfoot herself, who is calling on the officers to turn themselves in.
Republican Party chairman Steve Boulton also responsded to Lightfoot's reaction to the video.
"Since the mayor wasn't on the streets during the riots, she has no idea what dedicated police officers went through to protect the city," Boulton said.