Chicago police superintendent David Brown told reporters Monday that attacks on police officers are up “five times” over previous years amid a spike in shootings that has left the city reeling.
Last week, 72 people were shot and wounded in Chicago and 18 people were killed, a slight increase over 2019. Overall, though, the summer has been a deadly one for Chicago residents; murders and shootings are each up 52% over last year, according to the Chicago Police Department’s official statistics.
Brown noted that Chicago police officers are being targeted at a rate five times higher than in “any previous year” in the city.
“Dozens of Chicago police officers have been shot or shot at so far this year — including as recently as this weekend — when the Illinois city saw 35 shootings and at least 10 murders through Sunday,” Fox News reports.
“Of the 65 Chicago police officers who have been shot at, 10 have been struck, Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown said during a Monday morning press conference to launch a training program related to the department’s Neighborhood Policing Initiative,” the outlet continued.
“There is not a comparable year,” Brown said, noting the number of shootings directed at officers. “That is five times any previous year that anyone can recall in this city.”
The shootings include several high-profile incidents. Two officers were wounded in a late August shooting that stemmed from a traffic stop on the city’s west side, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, and one officer was shot in the leg while arresting a suspect on the city’s south side in early August, per the Tribune.
Also in early August, three officers were shot when a suspect they had arrested produced a gun he had hidden on his person and engaged officers in a prolonged shootout, CBS Chicago noted. One officer wounded in that attack had to be placed into a medically induced coma.
Over the weekend, a 49-year-old man shot at officers during an incident in the city’s South Pullman neighborhood, according to ABC 7 Chicago. That man was arrested without incident and has reportedly been referred for psychiatric evaluation.
The incidents are even more significant when compared to officer-involved shootings that led to the death of a suspect. Although police shootings are now the primary focus of most national anti-violence campaigns, of the 2,870 people shot in the city of Chicago in 2020, only 12 of them — just 0.4% of the total — were shot by Chicago police officers.
The federal government’s Operation Legend has, according to Attorney General William Barr, been instrumental in cutting the murder rate in Chicago, and the local-federal partnership is getting guns off the street, according to CPD. Just last week, Chicago police arrested 59 people for violent crime and confiscated 87 guns.
The program is also, reportedly, protecting police officers by providing them with an inside track on organized crime in the city. As The Daily Wire reported last month, the FBI recently warned Chicago cops that a “gang cabal” was planning to target police officers in order to command national headlines.