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The FBI has warned the Chicago Police Department that some three dozen street gangs have formed a pact to execute any officer seen in public drawing his or her weapon on a suspect.
In a federal intelligence alert, which Chicago police are taking seriously, the FBI warned that the gangs “have formed a pact to ‘shoot-on-sight’ any cop that has a weapon drawn on any subject in public,’” ABC7 reported.
Dated August 26, the “situation information report” from the bureau says “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 report continued.
Such alerts, which are based on police intelligence, are often distributed to affected law enforcement agencies even if they are not always specific, and that is especially true when officers’ lives are threatened, the local news outlet reported.
The information contained in the “Potential Activity Alert” sent to CPD by the FBI originated from “a contact whose reporting is limited and whose reliability cannot be determined.”
That may mean the information came from a street source known to police, discussions picked up on wiretap or other surveillance, or a witness who is cooperating in another case.
In any event, CPD Superintendent David Brown indicated that the department is taking the threat seriously.
On Monday, Brown told reporters that officers are currently dealing with a general “sense of lawlessness” in the Democrat-run city, and while he did not mention the FBI alert specifically, ABC7 said the dangers officers face daily is genuine and is only getting worse.
“I think it’s bigger than a suggestion,” Brown said. “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.”
That point was driven home over the weekend, as two CPD officers were among 54 people shot as violence continues to worsen in the nation’s third-largest city. Both officers are expected to survive, but 10 people were killed.
The two officers were shot around 2:30 a.m. as they conducted a traffic stop, ABC7 reported. There is no indication the attack was linked to a gangland assassination attempt.
Some of the gangs listed in the FBI alert, which is titled, “Pact Made by People Nation Gang Factions to ‘Shoot On-Site’ Any Police Officer with a Weapon Drawn,” include some that have grown and become well-known in Chicago like the Latin Kings, the Vice Lords, the El Rukns and Black P Stones.
Brown told reporters that the uptick in attacks against police makes it clear to him that “people are seeking to do harm to cops.”
“We need police officers and as community members, we need to push back fervently against lawlessness,” he said.
A statement from CPB to ABC7 said the department was taking the threat seriously, as is every threat to officers. In addition, the department said all measures of safety are being taken to prevent officers from being targeted or harmed.