• Chicago was rocked by several days of sometimes violent protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing
  • Rush, a co-founder of the Black Panthers, said he has video of the officers relaxing amid the mayhem down the street
  • Lightfoot vowed the incident would be investigated and the officers disciplined

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on Thursday said police officers lounged around, making popcorn and coffee in his South Side Chicago campaign office as a nearby shopping center was looted two weeks ago. The veteran congressman said at least eight police officers lounged around with their feet up on his desk amid the violence that followed the death of George Floyd, who begged for air as a white Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck.

Chicago was rocked by several days of sometimes violent racial justice protests as unrest swept the nation in the wake of Floyd’s killing.

“One was asleep on my couch in my campaign office,” Rush said at a joint news conference with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

“They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and make coffee for themselves and to pop popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight and within their reach.”

Rush said he has video of the incident, which included three supervisors.

A furious Lightfoot apologized, calling the incident “a personal embarrassment to me.”

“I’m sorry that you and your staff even had to deal with this incredible indignity,” she said, adding the officers involved “demonstrated a total disregard for their colleagues, for the badge. ... These officers will be held accountable. This will be investigated thoroughly.”

Lightfoot said the video was taken June 1, and the officers may have been in Rush’s office for more than four or five hours.

“You know who you are. You know what you did. Don’t make us come find you. Come on in. Identify yourselves,” Lightfoot said, adding that some tentative identifications already had been made.

Rush, a co-founder of the Black Panthers, and Lightfoot have not been political allies. Lightfoot said, however, “today, we are in total alignment in our righteous anger” over the incident.

Several incidents of alleged police misconduct during the protests already are being investigated, including allegations of officers pulling a woman from her car by her hair and an alleged assault with batons on Ghian Foreman, president of the Chicago Police Board, which decides disciplinary cases involving police officers.