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Chicago Police Officers Who Kneeled In Protest Will Be Reprimanded

By Heather Cherone | September 25, 2017 5:09pm | Updated on September 26, 2017 8:17am

CHICAGO — Two Chicago police officers who kneeled while in uniform after being asked about President Donald Trump's blistering criticism of football players' decision to kneel during the national anthem before games will be reprimanded, a Chicago Police Department spokesman said Monday.

In a picture posted on the Instagram account of anti-violence and anti-poverty activist Aleta Clark, a woman wearing Clark's signature "Hugs No Slugs" shirt kneels between two African-American officers holding up their fists.

The Instagram picture, which had about 1,800 likes, was captioned:

"That Moment when you walk into the police station and ask the Men of Color are they against Police Brutality and Racism & they say Yes ... then you ask them if they support Colin Kaepernick ... and they also say yes ... then you ask them to Kneel!"

The officers in the photo were not identified.

Rule No. 42 of the Police Department's Rules of Conduct prohibits uniformed officers from "participating in any partisan political campaign or activity."

"We are aware of the photo, and we will address it in the same way we have handled previous incidents in which officers have made political statements while in uniform, with a reprimand and a reminder of department policies," said Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

In a video posted on her Instagram page, Clark said "European" officers declined to kneel with her.

Officials with the police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, could not immediately be reached.

A year ago, Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling during the anthem to protest the deaths of African-American men at the hands of police officers. He went unsigned this season, which some people have attributed to his political activity, not his abilities on the field.

The controversy flared up again after Trump on Friday called on owners of NFL teams to fire any player who kneels during the national anthem and “get that son of a bitch off the field.”

The president tweeted nearly a dozen times during the weekend about the issue, creating a furor.

During Sunday's game at Soldier Field, members of the Chicago Bears linked arms during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," while all but one member of their opponent Pittsburgh Steelers remained off the field. 

In January, police officers were warned about the ban on taking part in partisan politics after a hat featuring President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan was propped on the dashboard of a police vehicle assigned to monitor the Inauguration Day protests at the Daley Center.