Rep. Bobby Rush has vociferously denounced one of the two candidates in a runoff election for Chicago mayor as the pro-police option who has not done enough to curb police brutality in the city.
Rush, a civil rights leader and longtime Chicago Democrat in the U.S. House, reignited the conversation surrounding police brutality over the weekend when he accused Democrat Lori Lightfoot, one of the two candidates to emerge for the run-off, of protecting rogue police officers who use excessive force.
Lightfoot was the president of the Chicago Police Board from 2015 to 2018.
“If any young black male or female is killed by a police officer, under a Lightfoot administration, then the blood would be on those voters’ hands who elected her,” Rush said Monday, NBC Chicago reported, doubling down on a similar statement he made over the weekend at a rally for Lightfoot’s opponent, Toni Preckwinkle.
Rush warned voters in his hometown Monday that Lightfoot would nullify a measure in Chicago to reform its police department.
“Lori Lightfoot has made an alliance with the devil,” Rush said.
Preckwinkle has declined to condemn Rush’s comments, saying that he has raised legitimate concerns about Lightfoot’s record on police-related issues.
“Congressman Rush is a community activist — a civil rights activist — who is expressing his concerns about issues relating to police and community,” Preckwinkle said. “Those are legitimate concerns in African-American and Latinx communities. … Those concerns are ones I share.”
Lightfoot, who has garnered the endorsement of most of the other mayoral candidates who did not make it to the runoff, said Rush’s comments amounted to “racial politics,” pitting the mostly white police force against Chicago’s black communities.
“What we shouldn’t be doing is trying to ignite divisions,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It says something about her [Preckwinkle] that she not only stood by while this kind of hateful rhetoric was being [used], but doubled down,” Lightfoot said.
The runoff election is Tuesday, April 2.
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