A Chicago police officer was disarmed by a trespassing suspect who fired one shot from the cop’s gun during a struggle in Lincoln Park on Friday evening, officials said. No one was injured by the gunshot, and police arrested the suspect shortly after the confrontation, according to Chicago police.
CPD radio transmissions, which switched to a new system earlier Friday, show that the officer called for backup a few minutes after responding to the call, but the dispatcher, who said the “radios are not good,” did not hear him.
About 80 seconds after asking for help, the cop declared an emergency.
It all started around 8:53 p.m. when a 911 caller reported that they were monitoring a security system and saw an intruder inside a house that is under construction in the 2100 block of North Cleveland.
A two-person patrol car responded to the call, as did another officer, a 50-year-old man who joined the force in 2000.
In a press release, Chicago police said, “officers arrived on scene and met with the victim, who directed them to an alley way, where an officer encountered the offender.”
The lone officer struggled with the suspect, who disarmed him and fired a round, the police statement said. After the officer regained control of his weapon, the offender fled the scene, according to CPD.
However, a source familiar with the incident said police don’t really know who fired the gun, apparently because it went off as the man struggled to control the weapon. COPA, the city’s police oversight agency, is investigating the weapon discharge.
Police located the suspect behind a building on the same block about 20 minutes later.
The officer was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where, a source said, he was treated for bite wounds and abrasions.
For more than a year, the police department has been transitioning its radio system to a secure network that the general public cannot hear live. Mayor Lori Lightfoot insisted that the project, which has been in the works for years, is necessary for officers’ safety.
Lightfoot has refused to allow live monitoring of police transmissions by the public and credentialed media outlets. Instead, the city partnered with a third party, which streams encrypted radio traffic on a 30-minute delay.
Radios in the Near North (18th) District, which handled the Lincoln Park incident, became encrypted at 5 a.m. Friday.
In the following excerpt from CPD radio traffic, unit 1812, the officer who would later be disarmed, is heard asking for more cars. After being advised by another unit that someone needed help, the dispatcher started checking with officers to see who needed backup. Oddly, the two-person unit that responded to the call on Cleveland, 1813, told the dispatcher that everything was fine even though 1812 had asked for help. Eventually, 1812 returned to the radio to declare an emergency. Listen: