— PPL’s Response Team (@ChiCopWatch) January 19, 2018
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was heckled on Friday while he was trying to convince University of Michigan students to move to the Windy City.
Speaking at the University of Michigan on the apparent benefits of life in the Chi post-graduation, Emanuel’s storied poise was dealt a blow by protesters scornful of his controversial plan to spend $95 million on a new police academy on the city’s West Side.
A 45-second video is making its way across the Twitter-tinged ether of the internet showing Emanuel’s composure slip when presented with the opposition.
Two protesters in the crowded Ann Arbor auditorium interrupt Emanuel’s scripted remarks by shouting:
Money for kids, not for cops, no cop academy!
The protesters also note that Chicago is “$600 million in deficit,” in an apparent attempt to highlight the controversial nature of massive spending on behalf of Chicago’s notoriously corrupt police force.
Emanuel, however, mistakes the interruption for an invitation. He replies, “Let’s do this, I’m going to answer your last question.” But the two protesters just continue chanting.
The protest was lodged by an organization called The People’s Response Team. The group’s Twitter profile describes themselves as follows, “The People’s Response Team rapidly responds to police shootings in Chicago. We aim to respond, document & connect families & loved ones affected with resources.”
An additional video posted online shows a contingent of rapt Emanuel fans rising to the mayor’s defense by booing the protesters.
In an emailed response to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel spokesperson Adam Collins attempted to side-step the issue. Collins wrote: “[Mayor Emanuel] had a great conversation with about 500 or 600 University of Michigan students today. A couple of people briefly raised a separate issue, the mayor listened, addressed it, and the larger conversation continued.”
A news release issued later by Emanuel’s office failed to mention the protesters whatsoever. Instead, Emanuel’s recounting of the Michigan event stuck to the script. It reads, in part, “As students from across the country start to plan careers after college, Chicago offers them a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem to work in and unmatched cultural scene to enjoy.”
Friday’s heckling of Emanuel was the latest of many protests made in opposition to Chicago’s planned expenditure in favor of the city’s controversial police force.
At a November city council meeting, Chicago’s beloved Chance the Rapper–who hails from the city’s South Side–spoke out against the planned police academy.
[image via screengrab]