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Chicago Police Officers to Be Reprimanded for Taking a Knee in Uniform

Activist Aleta Clark posted a photo showing her kneeling between two officers, as one rests his hand on her shoulder and all three hold their fists in the air.
Image: Two Chicago police officers take a knee.
Two Chicago police officers take a knee.Aleta Clark. / via Instagram

Two Chicago police officers are facing disciplinary action after they were photographed while in uniform taking a knee and thrusting a fist in the air, the Chicago Police confirmed in a statement.

Authorities have not released the names of the officers, who are both African-American, but a spokesman for the department said official policy prohibits officers from making political statements while in uniform.

"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," the department said in a statement.

Activist Aleta Clark posted a photo to her Instagram account Monday showing her kneeling between the two officers, as one rests his hand on her shoulder and all three hold their fists in the air.

Clark captioned the photo: "That moment when you walk into the police station and ask the men of color are they against police brutality and racism, and they say 'yes.'"

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Clark, who is also a vocal supporter of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, said the officers also took a knee to back the football player.

After news broke that the officers would face disciplinary action, Clark posted a separate video of an interview she gave with reporters defending the cops.

"This is my message to those officers — I stand behind you," she said. "You showed us that even with a shield, even working for the police department, that you are still human and that you still recognize that racism still exists and that police brutality is real. And you stood against that."

The department's decision to reprimand the officers comes during a time when the country is sharply divided over athletes and protesters taking a knee during the National Anthem.

At a campaign rally in Alabama Friday, President Trump attacked football players who protest during the National Anthem, calling them "sons of bitches." The offhand remarks sparked an outcry from the athletes and sports analysts and catapulted the third week of the NFL season into the center of a political controversy.

Related: Jerry Jones Leads Cowboys in Taking a Knee Over Trump's National Anthem Comments

In a rare show of unity, NFL athletes, coaches, and even Dallas Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones, protested Trump's remarks by taking a knee and — in some cases, refusing to leave the locker room — during the national anthem.

Undeterred, Trump continued his attack against the protesters via Twitter on Tuesday, calling for the league to create a new rule that prohibits players from kneeling during the anthem.