Chicago Mayor Calls Out Officers Who Turn Off Body Cams, Says 'We Will Strip You of Your Police Powers'

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called out police officers who turn off their body cameras Friday, stating they will be stripped of their "police powers."

The Chicago Police Department told Newsweek in an emailed statement Saturday that it has opened an investigation into an incident with an officer who had his body worn camera turned off.

"All Chicago Police Officers are required to wear their unit assignment designator, nameplate and prescribed star so that they are clearly visible. An internal investigation has been opened into the officer who was photographed without his unit assignment designator and nameplate and with his star number covered. CPD holds its officers to the highest professional standards and violations of the Department's policy will be addressed," the CPD stated.

In a press conference Friday, Lightfoot said: "I've said this before and I'll say it every day: We will not tolerate people who cross the line. 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. 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 – if you are one of those officers, we will find you, we will identify you, and we will strip you of your police powers. Period," Lightfoot said.

The mayor made her comments as Chicago saw large crowds of people gather in protest over the death of George Floyd. Lightfoot said that while she believes the "vast majority" of police officers in the city are doing their job well and exercised restraint, there has been evidence that some have not.

The mayor made comments earlier Friday of a picture taken that showed a police officer in a van flipping off a protester while driving by. When asked by reporters about the picture, Lightfoot said she has seen it and that the officer will be found.

"We'll find that person. And in my view, that person needs to be immediately stripped of their police powers and they should start the process for firing him. We will not tolerate that kind of abusive, offensive conduct on the part of police officers, period," Lightfoot said.

At the press conference Friday, the mayor stated that the actions of officers who have conducted themselves in the manners that she listed demean their colleagues who are "working their tails off on 12-hour shifts to keep our city safe."

"Shame on you, shame on you. We will not tolerate this and we will take decisive action in not only stripping you, as appropriate you will be fired from the Chicago Police Department We can have no tolerance to those who don't understand the privilege of wearing this badge. We will not rest until you are identified and until you are weeded out," Lightfoot said.

"I understand all about honest mistakes, but some of the things that we've seen are not honest mistakes. These are people who do not share our values and will not be part of the Chicago Police Department. I want that message to be loud and clear," she said.

Update 11:04 PM ET, to include a statement from the Chicago Police Department.

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 16: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at Wrigley Field on April 16, 2020 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Jonathan Daniel/Getty
Chicago Mayor Calls Out Officers Who Turn Off Body Cams, Says 'We Will Strip You of Your Police Powers' | U.S.