U.S. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García released a new version of his first television ad in the Chicago mayoral race on Wednesday, hours after the presence of two uniformed officers in the 30-second spot promising to get tough on the crime triggered an investigation by Chicago Police Department officials.
A spokesperson for García’s campaign told WTTW News the ad was reviewed for “abundance of caution” after WGN-TV reported it that he likely violated the police department’s policy prohibiting officers from engaging in political activity while “wearing a uniform or any part thereof that would identify a person as a Chicago Police officer or using Chicago Police Department property” .
Chicago Police Department representatives confirmed the two officers were under investigation.
Both versions of the commercial juxtapose images of the Chicago “L” rumbling from a colorful Northwest Side mural, two apartments and the skyline with images of Chicago neighborhoods bounded by yellow police tape, sirens and injured people being loaded into ambulances .
García, who represents Illinois’s 4th congressional district, vows to crack down on crime “by putting more cops on our streets and illegal guns from them” as upbeat music plays.
The original version of the ad showed two officers walking and talking with García. One officer, a black woman, smiles as García speaks, while the second officer, a white man, looks on. It appears that the trio are walking down Clark Street in Andersonville.
The revised version replaces that segment with generic images of a police car driving down Michigan Avenue near the Art Institute, the back of a police officer’s uniform, and images of Chicago police officers from a distance conferring on the scene of the crime.
As García is shown chatting over coffee with three women, including a black woman and an elderly white woman, he vows to expand “community-based violence prevention programs” and “address the root causes of crime by investing in abandoned neighborhoods.”
García’s spokesperson said the campaign had consulted with the Chicago Board of Ethics before running the ad on Tuesday and was confident the campaign had not violated the city government’s ethics ordinance.
Both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and former CEO of Chicago Public Schools Paul Vallas have used images of themselves with uniformed police officers and firefighters in their campaign materials. However, since those images do not appear to be staged for the benefit of the campaign but captured as part of other events, they likely do not violate Chicago Police Department policy.
The Chicago Board of Ethics voted unanimously on Monday to ask both the Chicago Inspector General and the Chicago Public Schools Inspector General to check if the Lightfoot campaign has been hacked the city government’s ethics ordinance.
The call comes after the Lightfoot campaign sent emails to CPS teachers and faculty at the City Colleges of Chicago seeking student volunteers to help it win reelection in exchange for credit. The discussion leading to the vote of members of the Chicago Board of Ethics took place behind closed doors, and the board action did not nominate Lightfoot, in line with board rules.
Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]