CHICAGO – Two Chicago police officers are in hot water Monday after a picture of them sleeping on the job went viral.
The photo showed two cops in a Chicago Police 6111 vehicle slumped over and snoozing. Both were wearing black bullet-proof vests.
The picture was posted Saturday and has been shared more than 20,000 times on Facebook, including by mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green.
Green, who has been active in the Black Lives Matter movement, blamed the sleeping situation on mandatory overtime ordered by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“In light of all of the violence that happened last week, Rahm decided to deploy 600 MORE officers & make officers work overtime! This picture proves WHY this was a bad idea. Officers get fatigued which will prevent them from reacting to crime,” Green wrote on his Facebook page.
Former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who is also running for mayor, called sleeping on the job “just inexcusable.”
“It’s a big deal,” he told WGN.
The Chicago Police Department pushed back on claims the dozing duo were overworked and burned out. “Office welfare, health and safety are among our highest priorities. The officers involved in this incident were not on an overtime initiative and worked minimal amounts of overtime since July 1 and didn’t work overtime this week or weekend.”
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the CPD became aware of the photo over the weekend and that the Bureaus of Patrol and Internal Affairs have opened an investigation.
“Officers will face discipline,” Gugliemi said.
The embarrassing picture comes at a time when crime in Chicago has been on the rise. Fifty-nine people were shot in the city over the weekend. Six died and 53 were wounded, including a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the leg.
On Saturday night, three people were shot at a back-to-school peace picnic held at a playground. A fourth person was beaten up at the event that was held to promote peace and community.
Commenting on the crime wave last week, Emanuel, a Democrat, said in part: “I know the power of what faith and family can do. … Our kids need that structure. … I am asking … that we also don’t shy away from a full discussion about the importance of family and faith helping to develop and nurture character, self-respect, a value system and a moral compass that allows kids to know good from bad and right from wrong.”