Police Union Head: Gun Violence Owes Partly To ‘Disrespect’ For Cops | WBEZ
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Police Union Head: Gun Violence Owes Partly To ‘Disrespect’ For Cops

The head of the union that represents Chicago police officers says the city’s murder numbers could be on their way to levels not seen since the early 1990s and blamed the upswing partly on “disrespect” for cops.

In a downtown speech Tuesday afternoon, Dean C. Angelo Sr., president of Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police, pointed to the year’s murder count — more than 320 to date — and predicted 700 by the end of the year.

From there, Angelo warned, “we’re going back to [when] we had more than 900 murders a year.” The last year with that many was 1994, when the police department tallied 931 murders.

“We have an Orlando every month in Chicago and no seems to raise an eyebrow,” Angelo said. “But catch a policeman hitting someone on a video, ‘Oh, my God!’ ”

Angelo said police investigative stops are way down this year because of added paperwork for them and because cops are now afraid to be proactive.

“The perception of a lot of police officers in the city of Chicago is that nobody has their backs,” Angelo said. “They also believe that the least type of confrontation or physical contact will [put them] on the receiving end of this new anti-police correctness.”

Other causes of the violence include poverty and joblessness in parts of the city, Angelo said. “You can’t police your way out of this.”

Chip Mitchell reports from WBEZ’s West Side studio. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMitchell1 and @WBEZoutloud, and connect with him through Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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