Last week, a Chicago police officer flicked both his middle fingers at George Floyd protesters. He was photographed during a protest that took place Thursday, June 4, as officers left demonstrations that went from Lincoln Park High School to the Chicago Police Training Academy.
As per the Chicago Police Department, Superintendent David Brown stripped the unnamed officer of his powers. The department said in a statement that the officer used "a vulgar, offensive gesture" directed at a member of the public while on duty. "The member will be limited to administrative duties at the direction of the superintendent," the statement added.
The Block Club Chicago reported that the police officer showed the offensive gesture after watching a protester flick him off.
Earlier, the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, condemned the gesture during a press conference and said that the officer forfeited his right to be a Chicago police officer. "We'll find that person and in my view, that person needs to be immediately stripped of their police power and start the process for firing him," she said.
Lightfoot, who is the former head of the Chicago Police Board, is one of the mayors spearheading the initiative to reform police and racial justice working group in the wake of George Floyd's death.
She recently told CBS News that all the mayors across the country believe in police reforms, particularly at this time. "We have a moment where we can really change for the good, the narrative around accountability and legitimacy and policing. And we've got to seize this moment and move forward aggressively and not be timid. We've got to be bold," she told the news channel.
She also stressed that developing cultural literacy in the police force is critical in a city like Chicago, which remains one of the most segregated cities in the nation.
The Mayor of Chicago
Police and demonstrators have clashed in several U.S. cities as protests over the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have swept the country. During a press conference on Monday, June 8, Lightfoot praised a majority of police action.
She said that the vast majority of Chicago police officers have done their job well and, under difficult circumstances, have exercised restraint, but "unfortunately we're seeing evidence of some who have not."
Lightfoot mentioned that it will be not tolerated if someone crosses the line. She added: "We will not tolerate excessive force. We will not tolerate profanity and homophobic comments that demean the badge, demean the honor of being a Chicago police officer and demean the value of who we are as Chicagoans. We will not tolerate that."