CHICAGO -- A white Chicago police officer has been disciplined by the department for a photo on social media that shows him posing with an American flag in apparent protest of the NFL players who knelt during the national anthem Sunday.
In the photo, the officer is in uniform, standing in front of a police SUV and holding the flag. A sign in front of him reads: "I stand for the anthem. I love the American flag. I support my president and the 2nd amendment."
The Chicago Tribune reports his reprimand Wednesday came days after two black uniformed officers were reprimanded after being photographed with black community activist Aleta Clark in what she called a show of support for NFL players protesting police brutality and racism. The officers kneeled beside the woman, all three with a fist raised.
Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said all three officers violated rules prohibiting them from participating in political activity while on duty.
CBS Chicago reports Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to take sides when asked to comment on the two black officers' actions, before the white officer knelt as well.
The station says Emanuel is walking a thin line between a reprimand for the officers and support for social justice.
Emanuel said the good news is Clark trusted the officers enough to ask them to join her in protesting injustice.
"We encourage community policing in all its aspects of that trust. We also have a principle about not taking, in any way, showing favoritism of political views," he said.
While supporting expressions of social justice in some situations, the mayor drew a distinction between football players and cops on the job. "There's a difference between an athlete wearing their uniform and a police officer, paid by the public, who's wearing theirs."
Emanuel said he wouldn't second guess what the officers should have done.