CHICAGO (CBS) — Outspoken anti-violence activist Rev. Michael Pfleger said Chicago’s mayor and police superintendent might have gone too far in the past couple days, in their criticism of the father of a 7-year-old boy who was slain over the July 4th weekend.
Amari Brown was killed Saturday night in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, after watching fireworks with his family. He was with his dad, standing outside a building in the 1100 block of North Harding shortly before midnight, when gunfire erupted.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy have made much of the fact Amari’s father, Antonio Brown, has a lengthy arrest record, is a “ranking” gang member, and was the likely target of the bullets that killed his son, and has not been cooperating with police.
“I understand their frustration. This guy’s got a record. He should have been kept in jail … I understand all of that,” Pfleger said.
However, Pfleger said Emanuel and McCarthy need to be more careful not to cross the line.
“Waving records of a rap sheet out – as a young brother said to me last night, ‘This is why I don’t talk to the police. You see, they just put you out there,’” he said. “I’m not defending the father. I’m just saying that I think we can go too far in our accusations, and our condemnation; you know, because we have to watch, because what it can do is, it’s bigger than this case, because it can send a message, then, like that brother told me last night, ‘This is why I don’t talk to police.’”