The FBI has warned Chicago-area law enforcement that nearly three-dozen street gangs “have formed a pact to ‘shoot on-site any cop that has a weapon drawn on any subject in public’,” reports ABC7.
According to an August 26 ‘situation information report’ from Chicago-based FBI officials, “members of these gang factions have been actively searching for, and filming, police officers in performance of their official duties. The purpose of which is to catch on film an officer drawing his/her weapon on any subject and the subsequent ‘shoot on-site’ of said officer, in order to garner national media attention.”
Alerts based on police intelligence, no matter how unspecific, are frequently distributed to law enforcement agencies according to investigators, especially when they involve threats to officers. The FBI’s “Potential Activity Alert” is from “a contact whose reporting is limited and whose reliability cannot be determined.” That could mean the information came from a police street source, a cooperating witness in an ongoing case, or from discussions overheard on a wiretap or other surveillance recording. –ABC7
According to CPD Superintendent David Brown, there is an overall “sense of lawlessness” felt by local police, and the ‘danger to police officers is real and increasing.’
“I think it’s bigger than a suggestion,” said Brown. “I think 51 officers being shot at or shot in one year, I think that quadruples any previous year in Chicago’s history. So I think it’s more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops.”
The alleged pact comes amid national protests over several high-profile incidents between black suspects and police officers which has resulted in arson, looting, murder and other violent acts in cities across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd – a black suspect who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.
As ABC7 notes, the warning comes after 54 people were shot in the windy city last weekend – including two Chicago PD officers who are expected to live, while 10 victims died according to the report. That said, there is no indication that the officers were targeted as part of the alleged gang assassination pact described in the FBI alert.
The FBI alert, headlined “Pact Made by People Nation Gang Factions to ‘Shoot On-Site’ Any Police Officer with a Weapon Drawn” lists street gangs that have become well-known in Chicago the past five decades, from the Latin Kings and Vice Lords to the El Rukns and Black P Stones.
Supt. Brown said on Monday the spike in attacks on police makes it clear to him that “people are seeking to do harm to cops.”
“We need police officers and as community members we need to push back fervently against lawlessness,” Brown said. –ABC7
Chicago PD told the outlet that they are aware of the gang threat, and take all threats to officers’ safety seriously. Federal authorities have not provided additional information.