Police officers from the University of Illinois-Chicago are ‘livid’ about the circumstances their chief put them in at last week’s Donald Trump rally.
Campus police claim the chief put them in harm’s way during the protest, specifically telling them to “not put their hands on anyone” despite being in charge of crowd control and forcing them to act in alignment with protocols that endangered officers at the rally.
The leadership of the local police union has released a letter, citing the poor leadership that put their officers in danger.
Specifying poor directives concerning use-of-force, pepper spray and equipment, the cops complained that there was no riot gear on hand and that pre-planning for the event was nonexistent.
According to ABC7, the letter also stated that there was no pre-planning by UIC for Trump rally security, no needed training for the event, no contingency plan if things got out of hand, no riot gear on the scene, no pepper spray permitted as they usually carry and an order banning dark leather gloves because they looked too aggressive.
Campus police also claim the stringent restrictions put on them by Chief Kevin Booker caused just three arrests to be made last Friday night- all of which were ordered released shortly later by Chief Booker, whom officers claimed “stayed far away from the actual event.”
UIC public affairs released the following statement:
“Our officers had all appropriate training, authorized use of force, and protective equipment available to them at all times. The UIC Police were fully prepared to handle security during the Trump event and coordinated extensive meetings in advance with appropriate law enforcement agencies including the Chicago Police, the Illinois State Police and Secret Service as well as campaign and protest organizers.
The posture and tactics employed by UIC Police resulted in no injuries and few arrests inside the Pavilion and an orderly exit of large crowds following the abrupt cancellation of the event. The UIC Police Department was not consulted before the cancellation and UICPD did not recommend that the campaign cancel the event.
-O.C. spray, or pepper spray, is contraindicated in closed, confined areas such as the Pavilion and could have presented a hazardous situation for event attendees.
-Riot gear was available, if needed. The majority of UIC Police were in full uniform, with personal protective gear, with the exception of plain-clothes detectives who provided surveillance and valuable intelligence.
-UIC Police were never told not to wear gloves – just not the dark gloves which look aggressive.
-UIC Police were never told not to place hands on anyone – those instructions were only given to event security and Trump campaign security.
-Chief Booker was on site and in charge of managing all UIC Police activity and coordinating with multiple law enforcement agencies during the event.”
It is unknown at this time whether or not the officers who wrote the letter will face any disciplinary action.
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