‘A Different Attitude:’ Gang Funerals Will Include Searches, Tight Security

CBS Chicago, December 5, 2012

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago police are making strong moves to confront continuing city violence—which has included violent attacks at funerals.

The mayor expressed anger that people have been shooting and carrying guns at gang-member funerals.

“The police department is going to change the way they deal with gang funerals,” he said. “If you cannot respect a place of worship, at a time of a funeral, we are going to show a different type of attitude.”

The funerals will be treated as “gang events,” with mourners being searched and patted down, among other security measures.

Just last week, 21-year-old gang member Sherman Miller was slain on the steps of St. Columbanus Church, at the funeral of another gang member.

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The new tactics were on display Tuesday at Miller’s funeral, with police out in force, carrying automatic weapons.

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But Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, in an interview on the CBS 2 News at 6 p.m., defended the new tactics, and said police are always careful about any potentially hostile situation.

“We’re always cautious if we’re getting into some sort of a confrontational situation,” he said. “I’m not worried about tension. I’m worried about people getting holes in them.”

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Charles Childs, the funeral director who oversaw the funeral where Miller was killed, said the mayor has little choice.

“You would think funerals were off-limits to additional violence; but as it has become, nothing’s off limits,” he said.

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