Sneed exclusive: Aldermen want more assault rifles in cops’ hands
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Watch for four Chicago aldermen — all former cops — to pull the trigger so more police officers can use military-style assault rifles since the shooting of two on-duty Deering District police officers on Tuesday night.
Sneed has learned the cadre of aldermen not only want more Chicago Police to be able to use so-called carbines and long guns but will urge the City Council, if necessary, to appropriate funds to authorize the hiring of retired Chicago cops and federal agents to be trained as instructors.
• To wit: Many police officers have carbines and long guns, but they can’t be used for police work without proper certification by the police department.
Sneed also has learned that Kevin Graham, the new head of the Fraternal Order of Police, plans to join the aldermanic cadre urging police Supt. Eddie Johnson to take drastic measures to enable more cops to be certified “for the use of long guns.”
“My members are at risk, and the time has come for the city to acknowledge that the safety of our officers is paramount,” said Graham, who told Sneed he has sought to obtain certification to carry a long gun but has been unable to do so because of a huge backlog at the Chicago Police Training Academy.
“Hundreds of Chicago Police officers have asked to be trained and certified in the use of long guns and they face a long waiting list,” added Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who is joining aldermen Anthony Napolitano (41st), Christopher Taliaferro (29th) and Willie Cochran (20th) in the call for action.
In 2008, former police Supt. Jody Weis, who had been an FBI agent, procured nearly $200,000 worth of carbines. “Our officers understand they are outgunned and they are demanding the carbines to protect themselves,” Weis wrote to the city’s former chief procurement officer back then.
“I hear they are still under lock and key,” Burke said of those guns, adding “how many more brave police officers are going to be shot by gang members using military assault weapons like they were Tuesday night in the Back of the Yards neighborhood?”
“Enabling police to use long guns is a need that is well overdue,” said Napolitano, a former Chicago Police officer in the Austin District. “The amount of artillery on the street looks like the bad guys are carrying enough to support a small army in a small country! It’s amazing what’s out there right now.”
Obama drama . . .
Oh my, oh my!
Former President Barack Obama lived with and loved another woman in Chicago and proposed to her before he met the country’s future first lady, Michelle Obama, according to a massive new biography titled “Rising Star,” by author David J. Garrow.
• Her name: Sheila Miyoshi Jager, who is now a professor at Oberlin College.
• Her story: In the book, Jager describes their personal trajectory: Life together as “an island unto ourselves;” a marriage proposal in late ‘86; her response: “Not yet” because her parents felt she was too young; Jager sensing Barack’s sudden ambition in 1987, when he was 25 . . . and his sense of destiny.
Then Barack met Michelle.
The rest is history.
Sneedlings . . .
Michael Phelps, world’s most decorated Olympian, and Jason Day, one of the world’s best golfers, hit Saint Charles May 21 and 22 to host a Golf.Give.Gala. The celebrity golf outing will include gold medalist Conor Dwyer, former Cubbie pitcher Kerry Wood, chef Mario Batali, comedian Bill Engvall, television personality Zuri Hall, and former Bull Toni Kukoc. . . . Hmmm. Mayor Rahm Emanuel lunched hush-hush with Barack Obama on Wednesday. Did they jaw on the Dem gov primary battle ‘tween Kennedy vs. Pritzker? . . . I spy: TV personality Kelly Osbourne, daughter of legendary Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon “The Talk” Osbourne, spotted with friends at il Porcellino last week. . . . White Sox announcer Steve Stone at Harry Caray’s in River North recently. . . . Today’s birthdays: Erin Andrews, 39; Jackie Jackson, 66; and Lance Bass, 38.