Violent attacks on Chicago police officers have increased in frequency this year amid a nationwide escalation in anti-police sentiments sparked by high-profile police killings or shootings of black people, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago is already one of the most violent cities in America, but violence against police is occurring at a rate far above what Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown can remember seeing in the past. Just this year, 65 Chicago police officers have been shot at, and 10 of them have been hit.
“There’s not a comparable year,” Brown told reporters, according to the Sun-Times. “That’s five times any previous year that anyone can recall in this city — the number of officers.”
Brown emphasized the great danger officers put themselves in on a regular basis in an attempt to make the city safer for law-abiding residents.
“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 said, according to Fox News. “We are risking everything.”
The Chicago Police Department told Fox News two weeks ago that it received intelligence from the FBI about a gang pact to shoot police officers on sight in public:
The alert—which mentions around 36 gangs, including the Latin Kings and Vice Lords — says “members of these gang factions have been actively searching for, and filming, police officers in performance of their official duties,” ABC7 says.
“The purpose of which is to catch on film an officer drawing his/her weapon on any subject and the subsequent ‘shoot on-site’ of said officer, in order to garner national media attention,” it added, according to the station.
The increased hostility toward police officers nationwide has led to large protests and riots when police shoot suspects, even in situations where the suspect is armed and aggressive toward officers, such as a recent incident in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Perhaps the most dangerous manifestation of anti-police rhetoric and sentiments came when two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were shot multiple times while sitting in their car in Compton on Saturday. Both survived the attack. Police are still searching for the suspect, who is seen on video walking directly up to the vehicle and firing a pistol into the passenger side window.
“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, CNN reported. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”