watermark logo

1970 SPECIAL REPORT: "CABRINI GREEN GANGS KILL POLICE OFFICERS"

4 Views
Above All That Drama

CHICAGO, Aug. 8 — The Chicago police have become al most daily targets for bottles, bricks and bullets from the city's ghettos.

In the last month three po licemen have been killed from ambush. Seven were slain last year. And there have been a series of incidents in which po licemen have wounded or killed blacks.

Now policemen patrolling

Negro neighborhoods — par ticularly predominantly black public housing projects — cov er their rounds in constant fear of attack. For Chicago has cre ated an underclass of angry, bit ter black youths who have moved beyond a readiness for riot to what some observers consider the beginnings of urban guerrilla warfare against the police.


Shortly before 7 o'clock the night of Friday, July 17, two white policemen walking across a baseball field were shot in the back and instantly killed by snipers at a sixth‐floor win dow in the Cabrini‐Green hous ing project. When other police men tried to recover their bodies, they were driven off by bursts of gunfire from other windows in the project.


It was not an isolated inci dent.

Cabrini‐Green is called

“Combat Alley” by the police of the 18th District because gunfire has rattled out of its drab, 19‐story brick towers nearly every night for more than a year. But there have been repeated snipings and oth er attacks in other black hous ing projects: Altgeld Gardens on the far South Side, Robert, Taylor Homes on the South Side, and Henry Horner Houses on the West Side.

“Cabrini is the worst,” said one patrolman. “But it's the same at the other projects. Oft en, the cops don't dare to go in. They just patrol the edges.”

As the police were attempt ing to recover the bodies of the two officers killed at Cabrini Green July 17, a wild fire‐fight ensued, with policemen armed with revolvers, M‐16 rifles and machine guns crouching behind cars and returning fire from the project.

Again, the scene was not unprecedented here. Last Oct. 10, at
Henry Horner Houses, residents had opened fire on the police, wounding 10 offi cers. That began after the po lice killed a decorated black Army sergeant home from Viet nam on leave to attend the fu neral of his brother, who had been killed by the police five days before. In both of the kill ings, the accounts given by the police and by the black wit nesses were irreconcilable.

Kicked Down Doors

When the police got into the Cabrini‐Green buildings, they kicked and batted down doors, searching each apartment three or four times. Residents say there were a number of beat ings. Two youths were hospi talized, one with a serious eye injury.


Four youths have been ar rested and charged with the shootings.

Another example of the ten sions in this city and the ani mosity toward the police came a week ago Monday when a riot broke out at a rock festival in downtown Grant Park. The dis turbance began with unrest over fears that the featured group, Sly and The Family Stone, would not appear. When 44 po licemen arrived, its focus shift ed.

In the first integrated riot in the city's history, black and white youths fought policemen for more than four hours, hurl ing rocks, bottles, chunks of pavement, manhole covers and lampposts, overturning a squad car and burning two other cars, one an unmarked prowl car.

Show more


0 Comments Sort By

No comments found