A Chicago Alderman is encouraging city officials to call in the National Guard after an FBI warning that gangs are preparing a coordinated attack on police in that city Fox News reported.
Anthony Napolitano, a former police officer, made the request on Wednesday afternoon.
A situational alert issued by the FBI on August 26 is titled “Pact Made by People Nation Gang Factions to ‘Shoot On-Site’ Any Police Officer with a Weapon Drawn,” according to the Daily Mail. It details an agreement between nearly 3 dozen street gangs including the Latin Kings, Vice Lords, El Rukns, and the Black P Stones according to ABC 7 in Chicago.
The alert stated that “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-site’ of said officer, in order to garner national media attention.”
The information contained in the alert is indicated to be from “”a contact whose reporting is limited and whose reliability cannot be determined.” Chicago police officials are taking the report seriously. A Chicago Police Department spokesperson acknowledged, “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.”
Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said of the alert, “I think it’s bigger than a suggestion. I think 51 officers being shot at or shot in one year, I think that quadruples any previous year in Chicago’s history. So I think it’s more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops.” He also said that his officers are dealing with “an overall sense of lawlessness” running through the city.
The FBI’s Chicago Field Office stated that the Bureau’s mission “has always been to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. In support of that mission, we regularly share critically important intelligence regarding violent crime and officer safety with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”
Murders in Chicago are up 52% from the period of January 1 to August 30 compared to a year ago. This past weekend 54 people were shot in the city, with 10 deaths resulting from the shootings. In all, 505 people have been murdered in Chicago this year. Two Chicago police officers were shot Sunday morning while conducting a traffic stop. One of the officers required surgery for his injuries, but both are expected to make full recoveries.
The increase in violent crime has not stopped activists from making demands that police funding be cut after the recent deaths of black men George Floyd and Jacob Blake at the hands of police officers. Chicago Superintendent Brown, a black man, is not among those calling for defunding of the police. “We need police officers and as community members we need to push back fervently against lawlessness,” he said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has so far rebuffed attempts by a group of aldermen to take funds away from the police and relocate those funds to other social services. “I’m very proud that our mayor stood up against this and is supporting that this not going to happen, but you have aldermen getting ready to go into our budget in October and to pull funds away from the police officers and they’re selling false hope to communities like they are going to create businesses with this,” Napolitano said. “That’s not what we do, budgeting goes towards an umbrella to protect businesses and citizens in the city of Chicago so in turn we get more businesses to come here.”