After another violent weekend in Chicago, the Chicago Police Department is under fire for a now-viral photo of officers sleeping on the job.
Two Chicago police officers wearing black bullet-proof vests were shown completely asleep in a patrol car in a photo posted Saturday.
Mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green shared the photo on Facebook, blaming Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the burned out cops who were forced to work overtime.
“In light of all of the violence that happened last week, Rahm decided to deploy 600 MORE officers & make officers work overtime! This picture proves WHY this was a bad idea. Officers get fatigued which will prevent them from reacting to crime,” Green wrote.
With six people killed over this past weekend in the city and another 53 wounded, the photo is an embarrassing reflection of the havoc in the Democrat-run city where a shooting spree earlier this month left six people dead and over 50 people injured.
Green, an outspoken critic of Emanuel, blamed the mayor’s decision to deploy more officers for what he sees as burnout.
“Both of them, not one was out, both of them were asleep, they probably had a rough day, they may have done a lot of overtime and these are the effects of it,” Green said, according to WGN.
But the Chicago Police Department pushed back against the claims in a statement:
Officer welfare, health and safety are among our highest priorities. The officers involved in this incident were not on an overtime initiative and worked minimal amounts of overtime since July 1st and didn’t work overtime this week or weekend.
The Bureaus of Patrol and Internal Affairs opened an investigation and, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, “Officers will face discipline.”
“Sleeping on duty is just inexcusable, it’s big deal,” mayoral candidate and former Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy, said.
“If its retrain, discipline or prosecute that’s what you do, you just don’t reverse course,” he added, pointing to politics over proven police strategies as a reason for the failures.
“This administration has exceeded overtime budgets year after year, pushing officers to a breaking point with excessive overtime work and very little officer wellness support, resulting in stress, fatigue, and potentially deadly consequences,” mayoral candidate and former police board president, Lori Lightfoot, said.
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas also slammed the overtime policy.
“More than a photo of officers sleeping in their squad car, this weekend’s continued bloodbath of shootings and murders shows that the Chicago Police Department’s unrelenting overtime strategy for officers simply is not working,” he said, according to WGN.
The 53 wounded this weekend included a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the leg, according to Fox News. Three other people were shot at a back-to-school peace picnic supposedly promoting peace and community while a fourth person was beaten up at the event.
“This may not be politically correct,” Emanuel said after another crime-filled week, “but I know the power of what faith and family can do. … Our kids need that structure. … I am asking … that we also don’t shy away from a full discussion about the importance of family and faith helping to develop and nurture character, self-respect, a value system and a moral compass that allows kids to know good from bad and right from wrong.”
Critics have slammed the Democrat for appearing to blame the victims and not doing enough to combat the crimes.
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