CHICAGO (WBBM) – Mayor Daley is headed for political retirement, but he hasn’t lost his passion for the vexing problem of gun violence plaguing Chicago.
One day after announcing his decision not to seek a seventh term, Daley lashed out at the code of silence that has prevented police from solving the July 18 murder of Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey.
It happened during a City Council debate on a resolution honoring Bailey, the third Chicago Police officer killed during a two-month period.
The Bailey murder remains unsolved, despite reward money topping $130,000.
“We should be outraged that no one has come forward in order to solve this case. It’s the community that stands up — not the politicians and not the police department,” Daley said from the rostrum, his voice rising in anger.
“You have the courage. He had the courage to die for you. . . . It’s about time that the community — you’re the ones who must come forward. . . . The only way you solve this case . . . is that you just call somebody . . . and say, ‘That is the individual that did it.’ People know who it is. And it’s about time you stop blaming the Police Department, you look in the mirror and you take responsibility over this.”
Daley also unleashed his anger about the public’s love-hate relationship with Chicago Police.
“It’s really amazing how opinions change. Two years ago, people were beating up the police. Every time you turn around, ‘Let’s beat up a police officer.’ Now, you need ’em. Now, you love ’em,” the mayor said.
“They’re human beings. . . . You can’t one day love ’em and the next day get up here and beat ’em up. People do that. Or sue ’em. A lot of people like to sue the Police Department. They’re really suing you as taxpayers.”
Bailey was killed in an apparent robbery outside his Park Manor home while cleaning the car he had bought himself to celebrate his retirement that was less than a month away at the time.
The 62-year-old Bailey had just finished his shift guarding the mayor’s South Loop townhome.
During Wednesday’s debate, Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), Bailey’s Park Manor neighbor, decried the changes that have turned her once tranquil blue-collar neighborhood into a magnet for crime.
Lyle has blamed the CHA’s Plan for Transformation, in part, for the surge of crime that included a Labor Day burglary at the alderman’s home.
“Over the last four or five years, it has become a community that many of us say we don’t understand, we don’t recognize, we don’t know who these people are,” Lyle said.
“I don’t know how many days a week we see some behavior on the street and we say, ‘Where in the world did these people come from and we sure wish they’d go back.’ We’ve never seen people who had such a disrespect for themselves [and] the property of others.”
Referring to slain Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV, a longtime family friend and Chatham resident who was killed in May, Lyle added, “I’m tired of memorializing officers from the 6th Ward.”
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