President Donald Trump created a controversy after he ripped NFL players and encouraged the team owners to fire athletes who kneel during the U.S. national anthem to protest systemic racism against African Americans.
However, his comment backfired and instead of putting a stop to the practice, Trump unwittingly injected new life into the movement.
Now, not only players and team owners are responding to the president’s comments by taking a knee, but celebrities and even police officers are also following suit.
Two uniformed African-American police officers in Chicago joined the protest and were pictured kneeling beside a woman in South Side, Chicago.
However, the police department was not too happy with the officers’ actions and reprimanded them over the protest.
“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,” said CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
The picture was posted on Instagram with a caption that read, “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.!”
The move of protesting during national anthem became famous when NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers refused to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game and instead chose to kneel down.
Although his protest was peaceful, harmless and even respectful, he received immense backlash and criticism. He was later demoted and is currently unemployed as the NFL team didn't sign him this season.
Kaepernick's main motive behind his protest was that he wanted to make a statement about racial injustice and police brutality in the country.
It is an interesting fact that these officers are being reprimanded and counseled for standing up against a problem that does exist in our society, whereas there have been several incidents where cops have been acquitted for killing unarmed people, mostly people of color.
Recently, circuit Judge Timothy Wilson acquitted white ex-police officer Jason Stockley in a fatal shooting of a black man, Anthony Lamar Smith. The man was shot five times in his car after attempting to elude Stockley and his partner, who had chased the suspect after an alleged drug deal.
In another incident, a police officer in Oklahoma shot a man in front of his home, ignoring pleas from his neighbor that he was deaf and was unable to hear the commands. Madgiel Sanchez was reportedly holding a metal pipe and authorities kept on asking him to drop the tool before opening fire on him.
The man succumbed to his injuries and died. One of the officers involved in the shooting was placed on administrative leave and the other is still on active duty.
These incidents go to show where the real problem lies and why exactly the protest emerged in the first place. Police brutality and racial profiling are claiming lives across the country — and that's clearly a worse issue for the nation than a person peacefully taking a knee.
It is about time that we start addressing the root cause of the protest instead of the protest itself.
This is how you do community policing. They should be rewarded not disciplined.— Rachelle Smith (@rachology216) September 26, 2017
I'm sorry I didn't think the CPD knew how to reprimand anybody. Or white cops just get a pass every time? @ChicagosMayor— CST (@cole_timblin) September 26, 2017
How hypocritical! When cops rap or dance with kids, it's endearing. When they show support for eliminating inequality, it's forbidden.— Mike Weston (@mikecweston) September 26, 2017
Brave officers. Thank you.— Mick E. Zinc (@MickEZinc) September 26, 2017
Don't reprimand these brave men!!!— Patrice Joan (@patrice_joan) September 26, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Jim Young