Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks out against homophobic cop
During the Black Lives Matter protests, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed a police officer that shouted an anti-gay slur against protesters.
The unidentified police officer, dressed in a Chicago Police Department uniform, was seen in a video clip posted on Instagra as shouting at protesters after a traffic cone was thrown at him.
Though he wasn’t hit, the police officer yelled at the protesters: “Bitch! Wait ’til I turn my back, you fucking faggot!”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot not having any of it
Lightfoot is one of the first out queer Black women in office in the US. She ran and won in the 2019 Chicago mayoralty elections.
In a press conference last June 5, Lightfoot said: “We will not tolerate people who cross this line. We will not tolerate excessive force.”
“We will not tolerate profanity and homophobic comments that demean the badge, demean the honour of being a Chicago police officer, and demean the value of who we are as Chicagoans. We will not tolerate that,” she said.
She added, “If you are one of those officers who choose to do those things, or to tape over their badges, or to turn off their body-worn cameras– all things that violate very clear directives of the Chicago Police Department–we will find you, we will identify you, and we will strip you of your police powers. Period.”
“If you believe a police officer has committed an act of misconduct, please call 311 to report it,” she declared.
Chicago police calls action as “unacceptable” behavior
The initial video showed an altercation between police officers and those protesting the death of George Floyd.
The said officer was using a stop sign against the protestors that led to the traffic cone being thrown. After the incident was reported, an investigation was announced to be underway by the Chicago Police Department.
“The Chicago Police Department strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect. Any derogatory conduct is inexcusable and has no place in the Department,” the department said.
They added: “We do not tolerate this kind of behaviour, which is why we have opened an investigation into this incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action immediately as we work to identify the officer involved.”
They also urged the public to report any abuse or misconduct of police officers.
No place for homophobia, police brutality
Equality Illinois said in a statement that focus should be on “what the protests are primarily about: our society cannot tolerate police brutality against African Americans, including queer and trans African Americans.”
Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson added, “But we want to add unequivocally, there is no place for homophobia among those who are charged with protecting our city. This officer must be removed from duty.”
Lightfoot had earlier criticized the Chicago City Council after a councilor made homophobic comments during a debate on reserving city contracts for LGBTQ-owned business.
Lightfoot slammed the Council for the “disturbing” comments and their “offensive nature.” She said that as an adult and mayor, it was her obligation to “stay silent no more.”