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Officer In Rhymefest Robbery Run-In Will Be Disciplined, Rahm Emanuel Says

By Joe Ward | August 29, 2016 12:59pm
  Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday said he was disappointed in the police department's run-in with rapper Che
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday said he was disappointed in the police department's run-in with rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith and said he hopes the encounter serves as a "teachable" lesson for police.
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DNAinfo/Joe Ward

CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said a Chicago Police officer didn't act appropriately when dealing with Grammy-winning rapper Rhymefest after he was robbed this weekend and will be disciplined.

Che "Rhymefest" Smith tweeted that he had a gun put to his head early Saturday, and then was treated "disgustingly" by a Chicago police officer when he tried to file a report.

CPD apologized over the weekend, and the mayor on Monday said that officer is in hot water.

"The issue should be that he was held up at gunpoint," Emanuel said. "It shouldn't be how a guy came in to do a citizen's report on what happened to him and [have] it become the event.

"Had that officer acted appropriately, we'd be dealing right now with who did the mugging, which is where we should be," Emanuel said.

Smith is a former Kanye West collaborator who has previously run for alderman on the South Side. 

RELATED: Rhymefest Gets Apology From Cops Over 'Disgusting' Response To Robbery

After the robbery, Smith went to a police station, where he said an officer ate and played the game "Candy Crush" while he tried to talk to her about the robbery. He said the encounter highlights why black residents are uneasy with reporting crimes or working with police.

A police spokesman apologized to Smith over Twitter this weekend, and a top police official reached, Emanuel said at an unrelated press conference in Belmont Cragin Monday.


Emanuel said police should be more sympathetic to victims of violent crimes.

"You have a responsibility to hear them and treat them fairly," he said of victims.

The mayor said Smith's interaction with police highlights the work that still needs to be done to better police and community relations. He said leadership is needed to root out such behavior and that training likely needs to be tweaked.

"It does show us that our work is not done," he said.

The hip hop artist said on Twitter that at 7:30 a.m. Saturday he was sitting in his car at 43rd Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue when a man got inside, pointed a gun at his head and demanded his wallet.

Smith said he gave the wallet to the man and the robber got out of the car and ran away.

"I defend you against police brutality, I work on your behalf," Smith wrote on Twitter. "You robbed me. ... You don't know how much you just damaged your community.

"I'm not even mad, I'm f-----' hurt," he said.

Anthony Guglielmi, communications director for the Chicago Police, apologized to Smith on Twitter for how he was treated when filing a report.

In a string of tweets, Smith said he hoped the man who robbed him would contact him so they could talk.

"Give me faith that it's our desperation and not our hearts that [are] dark," he wrote.




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