Tunney has nothing but praise for police—even after 3 shot and 3 stabbed in attacks after Pride Parade
“I have to give a shout-out to the police. They did an amazing job. There were plenty of police resources,” Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said. “Given the volume of people that were here, they did a great job…I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown devoted “plenty of police resources” — and officers responded “amazingly well” — to crowds that descended on Lake View East for the Pride Parade, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said Monday, even though three people were shot and three others were stabbed in attacks after the event.
“Considering the volume of people and what happened after — which is basically what I was concerned about, that 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. part of the evening — police responded amazingly well,” Tunney said Monday.
“There were incidents. The shooting and, then, the stabbing. But all assailants are in custody. That’s what I’ve heard from the commander,” Tunney said. “It’s unfortunate. But I have to give a shout-out to the police. They did an amazing job. There were plenty of police resources. Not only for the parade but the entire evening and into the early morning.
“Given the volume of people that were here, they did a great job,” he added. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Three people were shot and three others were stabbed over several hours late Sunday into early Monday in the hours that followed Chicago’s first Pride Parade in two years.
The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of North Clark and left at least one person in critical condition. A person was arrested and a gun was recovered, police said.
Roughly two hours earlier, a woman was arrested after stabbing three people during a fight in the 1000 block of West Belmont. One of the victims, a 28-year-old woman, was listed in serious condition after being stabbed in the chest, arm and back.
During a Monday news conference, Brown said the “drunken, rowdy behavior” of some revelers made it “very challenging” for officers to handle the large post-parade crowds.
Brown claimed that deploying all the police officers from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles “wouldn’t have been enough people to control two knuckleheads in a crowd of hundreds of thousands.”
“The next best thing to preventing it is holding the person accountable and making an arrest right away, which is what happened,” he said.
The superintendent said several officers were “punched and slapped,” including Chicago police sergeant who was hospitalized after he was punched in the head by a 21-year-old woman he was trying to arrest in the 3300 block of North Clark Street.
Brown said 26 people were arrested throughout the day for “various charges,” although a police spokesperson couldn’t immediately provide a list of those taken into custody.
“Just hours earlier, people from all backgrounds, including families with their children, were out together celebrating,” he said of the parade. “No Chicagoan should have to think twice about their safety.”
City officials are now compiling an “after-action” report in an effort “to identify lessons learned, things we can do better [and] things we can add,” Brown said. Still, he credited members of his department for “following through on our plan to ... quickly react if anything happened.”
“And that’s exactly what transpired,” he added.
In the run-up to the parade, Tunney had sent a letter to Brown pleading for more resources to shore up a Town Hall District that still has 110 fewer officers than it did on the day Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office.
On Monday, Tunney praised Brown for heeding his call for extra help. He estimated that there were “between 1,000 and 2,000” police officers assigned to the parade and its aftermath.
Even though police officers saturated the area, Tunney argued that police were hard-pressed to prevent the shooting and the stabbing.
“There is a whole second wave of youth coming into this neighborhood that … may or may not be LGBT. They’re just out for a good time … I don’t even know how to estimate how many people were there through the entire evening. But it was wall-to-wall on Halsted and Belmont. And certainly, there was a bad element there,” he said.
“I’m not saying this couldn’t have been prevented,” he said. “But the response was quick and the police coverage was awesome. I’m not going to be critical of the police on this ... Given the circumstances, I couldn’t have asked for more police resources.”
The praise for the Chicago Police Department is an about-face for Tunney.
In March, Tunney bemoaned diminishing police resources after 47-year-old Hermilo Beltran was shot to death behind the Happy Camper restaurant at 3548 North Clark St.
A father of two, Beltran had been moonlighting as a custodian at the Happy Camper when he was killed during an apparent robbery attempt. His wallet was missing. His cell phone was found in the alley.
Beltran’s widow told Channel 7 she often accompanied her husband to Wrigleyville to make sure he was safe. But not on that fateful night in March.
“For some reason, he didn’t bother to wake me up,” she said then.
“He was taken away by people who do not know what they are doing. They left our daughters orphaned … It’s a great pain that can never be repaired. It’s left an empty space in my heart and in our home.”