‘You Have To Defend Yourself,’ McCarthy Says Of Police-Involved Shootings

CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is firing back at those who imply his officers are trigger-happy.

It’s only July, but the number of deadly police shootings have already out-paced all of last year. On Monday night, another police-involved shooting occurred.

McCarthy, in an exclusive interview with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, says police officers are facing increasing dangers on the street. Just last week, two Chicago police officers were shot and wounded while trying to arrest a drug suspect.

“Last year, there was a 40 percent increase in officers being shot nationwide. This year, it’s up from last year,” McCarthy says.

Newly placed stars on the wall of Chicago Police headquarters bear silent witness to the toll taken here. Six Chicago police officers were killed in the line of duty last year alone.

Tio Hardiman of Operation CeaseFire has his own theory about why the confrontations are escalating.

“A lot of these guys feel they got nothing to lose, so they’re willing to go up against the police or anybody,” he says.

McCarthy counters: “Somebody points a gun at you, you have to defend yourself.”

Chicago police officers have used deadly force 40 times already this year, compared to 46 times all of last year. Sixteen suspects have been shot and killed, compared to 13 last year.

McCarthy says he doesn’t want officers to hesitate at the cost of their own lives. He says his officers have used their weapons in self-defense 18 times in his two months on the job. In only one case is an officer being investigated for misusing deadly force. 

“What we can do is work on police training to ensure that we’re right when these things occur,” McCarthy says.

McCarthy says he personally reviews every police shooting and rejects any suggestion that some Chicago police officers believe they have a license to kill to reduce crime.

McCarthy says the number of police shootings will drop only when suspects stop confronting officers with weapons of their own.

  • Police Supporter

    “Whoo-rahh!”. We support McCarthy 100%. Sworn police officers are highly educated, skilled and trained to serve and protect the community from crime and violence. Let them do their jobs.

  • Taxpayer 2

    I agree with Supt. McCarthy. These demon acting people are a disgrace in our world today and need to be taken out of their misery if that:s what they continue to choose.

    These urban terrorist seem to have very deep mental issues. Their parents need to lock up too for not rising these devils correctly. If they do not get their selves together, kill them. These demon devils trying to shoot at police, is plain crazy.

    There should be a law on loitering on our streets too. More than two devils on our street standing around doing nothing, but allowing demons to control their thoughts should be arrested.

    Generation after generation you see the same thing (hanging out) in the demon acting people community. Drinking and drugging their crazy devilish lives away. Where is their devilish daddys at? Yes, probably in jail or doing something devilish.

    Supt. McCarthy is absolutely right. Police officers have to protect their selves. The bible says in the Book of Proverbs train up a child so he do not depart from his ways. Who teaching these devils? Yes, the devil along with his demons..

  • W*T*F*

    They are free to kill. No highly educated or skilled than anyone else. Chronic and habitual liars too.

    • Roberta Waker

      You’re wrong. I know several police officers and they went through a very rigorous training program. They ARE more educated, skilled and better trained to do their jobs than the average citizen like you. Thank God.

    • g-man

      W-T-F—-is proof that the American Indian had sex with the wild buffalo

  • Larry

    The first two people who responded here are off their rockers.

    • CFLC

      Hey Larry, I bet your the first one to call the police when you feel threatened.

  • Mohammed Bin

    There are more shooting because the IDOC is short funded and the number of police kills must be increased to cut down on the number of inmates which in the end will cost the tax payers more in civil suits. The torts lawyer are gearing up now, hiring more paralegals and investigators, I am thinking about going back to work in the field.

    • Roberta Waker

      Ah, if only you were right. With elimination of the death penalty people can kill at will and then go on vacation in a prison where they get free room and board, medical, dental, education, tv and exercise time. They have it better than the poor taxpayers who are struggling to survive outside of prison.

  • Leroy Goldberg

    Nothing wrong with the Police shooting as long as the right people are getting shot, and they are, they are!!

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/07/26/2-wounded-in-run-ins-with-police-including-13-year-old-boy/ 2 Wounded In Run-Ins With Police, Including 13-Year-Old Boy « CBS Chicago

    […] In an exclusive interview Monday with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, police Supt. Garry McCarthy fired back at those who claim his officers are trigger-happy. McCarthy says it’s a matter of self-defense. […]

  • Roberta Waker

    Interesting that the police can shoot to defend themselves while us poor victims can’t even carry a gun. Is this a little lopsided or what? Properly trained armed citizens can deter crime as well. Quinn needs to reconsider conceal and carry so citizens can defend themselves . We are guaranteed that right in the Constitution of the United States.

    • CFLC

      Roberta, The police can shoot to defend themselves and defend citizens, you and me. The Democrats do not agree with conceal carry, plus if it was up to some of our Chicago, and Illinois elected l;eaders, they would chose to take the guns away from the police. Nothing makes sense anymore.

    • Police Supporter

      I’m a volunteer for our police department for crime prevention. Residents that live or work in Cook County can sign up to join their local Citizens Police Academy for a 8-10 week FREE course to graduate and become an alumni. Volunteering is a great way to help your community. “Whoo-rahh!”

    • g-man

      Then contact your democratic politician that consistently votes against the citizens ariming themselves. These politicians are the ones who vote against the citizen protecting themselves. The politician is the one who allways has police protection (Daley–Burke-Alvarez-Preckwinckle) and they are the ones who say you don’t need to protect yourself.

  • Mike

    Support the CPD.

  • David

    “Somebody points a gun at you, you have to defend yourself.” This is the same man who is against legal civilian concealed carry, and who in a recent speech blamed violent crime in Chicago on the NRA and white racism.

  • FR

    Why don’t cops wear bullet proof suits & bullet proof helmets so they don’t need to defend themselves?

  • Disgusted

    After hearing McCarthy’s disgusting racist rant at Father Pfleger’s St Sabina, it’s obvious he only believes police and public officials have the right to defend themselves (with lethal force or not). Illinois officials certainly don’t support the Constitution they swore to uphold.

  • robert

    When a police officer orders someone to drop the gun, and they don’t drop the gun, they should say their prayers because the police are one of the best shots in the nation.

  • Me, myself & I

    Sorry to be cynical, but if this boy didn’t have a gun before they shot him, he certainly had one by the time they wrote up the report. Cops are trained to lie and they have been know to plant guns on unarmed suspects-particular the ones that end up dead.

    Doesn’t anyone question why the fact patterns that lead to police shooting are ALWAYS. THE. SAME. Every time there is a police shooting, the narrative goes -almost verbatim – like this:

    “Suspect turned towards officers and pointed his weapon at them. Officers, fearingfor their life, fired their service revolver at suspect, fatally injuring him.”

    Oh, and it’s usually its more than one officer and the suspect dies of mulitple gunshot wounds. (ie they all open fire on the person)

    So, excuse me if I don’t always “buy” the police version of the story. It strikes me as way too convenient that it happens that same way all across the city, all different neighborhoods, all ages and races of suspects. Gimme a break CPD

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/07/27/suspect-wounded-in-another-police-shooting-on-west-side/ Suspect Wounded In Another Police Shooting On West Side « CBS Chicago

    […] In an exclusive interview Monday with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine just before the latest sh…, police Supt. Garry McCarthy fired back at those who claim his officers are trigger-happy. McCarthy says it’s a matter of self-defense. […]

  • http://autonews.allhailprince.info/?p=107 Chicago Police Shoot 13-Year Old Boy, Then Go Out For Beers To Celebrate | ALLHAILPRINCE.info

    […] In an exclusive interview Monday with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine, police Supt. Garry McCarthy fired back at those who claim his officers are trigger-happy. McCarthy says it’s a matter of self-defense. […]

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