Chicago Police standing ready at the scene of a call. Screen grab from youtube.
Chicago Police Department (CPD) Public Information Officer Kellie Bertoli confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned the Chicago Police Department of a potential threat that gangs in the area have put out a “kill on sight” order on police officers that have their weapons drawn.
An ABC7 News investigative team obtained the FBI’s Chicago division situational information report, dated Aug. 26, 2020, that was sent to CPD. The report states, “members of these gang factions have been actively searching for, and filming, police officers in performance of their official duties. The purpose of which is to catch on film an officer drawing his/her weapon on any subject and the subsequent ‘shoot on-sight’ of said officer, in order to garner national media attention.”
The article notes that the FBI alert, titled “Pact Made by People Nation Gang Factions to ‘Shoot On-Sight’ Any Police Officer with a Weapon Drawn,” lists “street gangs that have become well-known in Chicago the past five decades, from the Latin Kings and Vice Lords to the El Rukns and Black P Stones.”
During the seven-day period of Aug. 24-30, 2020, the CPD CompStat statistics recorded 97 shooting incidents, in comparison with 41 during the same period in 2019, which is a 137% increase. Over those same seven days, there were 19 murders recorded, a 46% increase from the same period in 2019.
CPD Superintendent David Brown said during a Monday press conference that 51 officers have been shot at this year alone, 10 of whom were struck by gunfire. He noted that there is a “sense of lawlessness” in the city of Chicago and that there is obvious targeting of police officers from the department.
Brown discussed one of the more recent incidents involving CPD officers getting shot in the line of duty. On Aug. 30 at approximately 3:30 a.m., CPD officers pulled over a vehicle. The suspect had climbed through his backseat and into the trunk by the time officers approached the vehicle.
The suspect crawled toward the front seat, where officers could see a gun with an extended magazine. The suspect would not comply with officers’ commands. CPD officers then attempted to remove the suspect from the vehicle, which is when he opened fire on the officers.
Two officers were struck by gunfire and their fellow officers returned fire, wounding the suspect. One of the wounded officers has been discharged from the hospital, while the other remains hospitalized and has undergone one surgery thus far.
And on Sept. 1, at approximately 11 p.m, CPD officers were driving down the road when a suspect opened fire on their vehicle. No officers were hit by the gunfire and they returned fire, critically wounding the suspect. The suspect was later pronounced dead sometime after being transported to the hospital.
CPD responded to requests for additional information via email, saying, “We have been made aware of this threat by a law enforcement partner. The Chicago Police Department takes all threats against officer safety seriously and we will take all necessary measures to safeguard our officers.”
The FBI responded to Coffee or Die via email, saying they have no comments on the matter. Neither the FBI nor CPD have confirmed whether these most recent shootings were related to the original situational information report.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
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