Two Chicago police officers face disciplinary action after taking a knee and putting their fists in the air in a photo shared on social media, authorities confirmed Monday.
The image was posted to the Instagram account @englewoodbarbie—which has nearly 30,000 followers. The account features other photos of people taking a knee. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the Instagram handle belongs to Englewood community activist Aleta Clark.
In the Instagram post, two uniformed Chicago police officers kneel with a woman. One of the officers rests his hand on her shoulder. The photo is paired with a caption that reads: “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.!”
CPD’s code of conduct does not allow officers to participate “in any partisan political campaign or activity.”
“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,” the department said in a statement.
The provocative post comes after President Donald Trump’s sharp rebuke Friday of NFL players who protest during the national anthem at football games.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired, he’s fired,” Trump said at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat, then kneeled, for the playing of the anthem beginning in Aug. 2016. He said he did it to call attention to the oppression of minorities across the United States.
Kaepernick’s actions sparked a national conversation that several other NFL players joined, protesting on multiple occasions and continuing even after Kaepernick became a free agent at the end of the season.
The president has since found himself at the center of a feud with the NFL. Many have vocalized that the display is an offense to military veterans; while others say it is a peaceful protest against racism and police brutality.
Martin Preib, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, said it was “not appropriate to comment at this time,” on the photo.
A follow up post on Clark’s page says the cops pictured kneeling and raising their fists with her, reportedly in a South Side precinct, the officers are doing a “noble” thing.
“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart responded Monday during a conference call defending players’ rights to bring attention to social issues through peaceful protest.
“Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is,” Lockhart said, in an apparent reference to the “Access Hollywood” tapes in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Officers have faced reprimands in the past for actions such as leaving a red “Make America Great Again” hat on the dashboard of a police cruiser and playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” at an anti-police violence demonstration.
Published 2 hours ago | Updated 48 minutes ago