The disrespect for police demonstrated by Chicago elected officials like Mayor Lori Lightfoot and anti-police activists is extending to the department’s everyday operations, resulting in a record number of officers shot or shot at on the job this year.
According to the Chicago Police Department, 71 officers have been shot or shot at as of November 30 — an increase of more than 50 incidents since last year.
“At no point in recent memory have our Chicago Police officers ever faced such a level of inherent danger while performing their duties,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “Yet they continue to bravely serve with honor each day and night.”
At a time when so much attention from the media and the public is directed toward the civilians involved in violent crimes, it’s easy for the public to ignore how police are treated. Day-to-day attitudes toward the police in places like Chicago ranges from hostility to downright threatening, according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
“I think it’s more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops,” Brown told the Associated Press. “We’re hyper vigilant anyway as a profession, but when officers are shot here and other parts of the country, it makes us even more concerned about the safety of our officers.”
The anti-police sentiment expressed by Black Lives Matter and other groups might end up ultimately working against the goals those groups claim to support, according to Marshall Hatch, a minister on Chicago’s West Side.
“It’s going to make it more dangerous for everybody when you have police who are kind of spooked,” Hatch told the Associated Press. “They are going to be hair-triggered.”
In July, a 16-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department was shot under his chin and seriously injured. Two other officers suffered minor injuries and a fourth suffered chest pain after gunfire broke out during a traffic stop in the city, according to the Chicago Tribune.
One month later, two officers were shot in the chest, back, and shoulders during a traffic stop. Brown told Chicago’s WGN9 News that a police supervisor responding to the scene drove the wounded officers to the hospital — possibly saving their lives.
“The quick response and thinking of their sergeant likely saved precious time for their treatment,” Brown said.
WGN0 also reported that dozens of officers lined up to salute the officer who was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon. All four officers involved in the incident received 30 days of administrative duties.
These incidents are just two of the many that have happened over the past year in Chicago. This trend will continue unless the city’s leadership steps up to set the example of respect that police deserve.
“What we are doing is we’re doing our part, murders are a result of gun violence in our city, and we are taking guns off the street at great risk to our personal safety,” Brown told Fox News. “We are risking everything.”
Chicago has seen a 139% jump in murders in 2020, according to the city’s police department. Violence continues every weekend, prompting Mayor Lori Lightfoot to say, “it feels like we’re losing the streets.” However, Lightfoot’s own actions play a large role in contributing to the current situation.
Image Credit: Photo by Ryan Kosmides on Unsplash