(CBS) – Some armed suspects would rather run the risk of getting shot by police than surrender their weapons during a confrontation because they fear reprisals from gang leaders, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday.
“When I chased people in New York, they used to throw the gun away. We chase people here in Chicago, they keep the guns, and they turn on our officers,” McCarthy told reporters as he took questions about the violent holiday weekend, which left 11 dead and dozens wounded.
Gang members fear if they back down in confrontations with police they will face beatings or financial sanctions from gang leaders, McCarthy said.
He says confrontations between armed suspects and police happened eight times this weekend. Once the gunman got away; twice, they were disarmed without shots fired. In the other instances, police fired in self-defense, wounding five – two of them fatally.
McCarthy says officers show restraint when confronted, too.
“It’s happened to me on countless occasions. We don’t always fire our weapons,” he said.