For Immediate Release
April 9, 2019
STATEMENT OF FOP NATIONAL PRESIDENT CHUCK CANTERBURY IN RESPONSE TO SLANDEROUS REMARKS ABOUT THE FOP
Bobby Rush has built his entire career on exploiting racial divisions through inflammatory rhetoric designed to inspire fear amongst those he supposedly represents. It should come as no surprise that his latest statement describing the Fraternal Order of Police as a “sworn enemy of black people”—a false, hateful and offensive statement to the men and women sworn to keep Chicago and its citizens safe, as well as those officers walking their beats in ever community in our nation.
Chicago is a dangerous city and gun crime runs rampant. The homicide rate in one of the highest in the nation and the majority of these victims are black. Yet each and every day, the men and women of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), representing every color and creed in our great country, start their shift with one mission: to protect the city and its citizens. Over the course of the Department’s history, 545 officers have fallen in the line of duty—giving their lives to protect others. Thousands suffered physical injury as a result of their service and even more have suffered invisible injuries that have led to suicides. The CPD has lost 6 officers to suicide since July—a staggering number.
The remarks of Bobby Rush demean these sacrifices and the commitment of the officers of the CPD. The only thing the FOP is sworn to do is to support and defend our members as they carry out the public safety mission.
Bobby Rush clearly does not understand this and his animosity toward law enforcement runs deep. In his early days, he stockpiled firearms and stockpiles to use against “pigs. I am grateful he never had the opportunity to carry out any attacks instead, he used words as weapons—just as he did yesterday. In fact, Mr. Rush would do well to remember that it was the Chicago FOP which, in the early 1990s, issued the very first condemnation of racial profiling in all its ugly forms, which would have certainly worked to the advantage of former Black Panthers like himself.
—BUILDING ON A PROUD TRADITION—
At a time when such heated and hateful rhetoric should be deplored in our public discourse, Bobby Rush reverts to form, using weaponized words to create even deeper divisions in support of his agenda and the corruption from which he benefits. He disagrees with us, so we must be the “enemy.” The police are not anyone’s enemy; we are the guardians and keepers of the peace.
Hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans are proud to be law enforcement officers and members of the Fraternal Order of Police. Hundreds of thousands of these proud officers are members of a minority community and I think they would be very shocked that a supposed civil rights leader like Bobby Rush believes them to be in the same category as the Ku Klux Klan.
Bobby Rush is an embarrassment to the city of Chicago and the U.S. House of Representatives.
I am calling up the Democratic Party of the State of Illinois and the leadership of the House Democratic Caucus to condemn these remarks and insist he retract his statement and offer an apology to the law enforcement officers in Chicago and nationwide that he has so viciously maligned.
We must reject the politics of the past—inciting fear, hatred and distrust enabled a man like Bobby Rush to reach and remain in power. But his approach cannot and will not solve the problems we have today. It is time for unity, not division and Bobby Rush is part of the problem, not the solution.
We continue to support our brothers and sisters in the CPD
Please read the full press release here