The Chicago police union is asking Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to condemn statements directed at police after last week’s body-slamming of Bernard Kersh, who spit in an officer’s face and resisted arrest, was caught on video.
In a letter to Foxx, FOP Second Vice President Martin Preib wrote that someone in the company of Jesse Jackson, Sr., who intervened in the Kersh case, said to the media after Kersh’s bond hearing that the Chicago police are engaged in “racial cleansing.” Then after a hearing last Thursday, another activist accompanying Jackson said that the police were “blue-eyed devils.”
“Since you have associated yourself with this group by holding a press conference at Mr. Jackson’s headquarters [last April’s press conference at Rainbow Push] it is incumbent upon you to publicly condemn these statements and to cease making false, malevolent and inflammatory racist claims against our organization," Preib wrote.
FOP Second Vice President Martin Preib
“Such shocking rhetoric will only increase violence against the police and make the job of protecting the public that much more difficult.”
In the incident, Kersh, 29, was charged with a felony for battery against a police officer. He was released from Cook County Jail on Friday after Jackson posted a $500 bond.
Prosecutors said that Kersh was drinking in plain sight at a bus stop on 79th Avenue and South Cottage Grove on Thanksgiving when he was approached by an officer.
Kersh spit at the officer, who then threw Kersh to the ground. The officer and another officer who responded have been stripped of their powers while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates.
Preib wrote that at the Jesse Jackson event last April, held to support Foxx after she took heat for dropping charges against actor Jussie Smollett, Congressman Bobby Rush called the police the “Blue Klux Klan.” Foxx said nothing to condemn the remark.
“Later, you embraced such rhetoric by making statements in media interviews somehow tying our Lodge to white nationalists’ groups, a false and despicable claim,” Preib wrote. “Certainly, you know our Lodge is comprised of members from every race, sexual orientation, and gender, and each of them receives the same committed representation. Indeed, our Lodge is one of the most diverse institutions in the city.”