CPD deploys more officers for Labor Day weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are trying to crack down on violence this Labor Day holiday weekend by adding 1,400 more officers to the streets.

CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke about the plan Friday afternoon in a joint press conference with Illinois State Police, ATF, DEA and FBI. Johnson said additional resources will be deployed all over the city, including the lakefront, parks, and downtown.

"We're going to have a lot of people out. It's going to be a warm weekend, a holiday weekend, a long weekend, so the mission is to keep people safe," Johnson said, speaking exclusively with ABC7 Eyewitness News.

Johnson was on patrol with his son, rookie CPD officer Daniel Johnson, for less than an hour when they responded to a call of a shootout involving officers.

Shots were fired at police in the South Shore neighborhood, police said. Officers returned fire and no one was injured. One person was in custody and a gun was recovered.

"The subject inside the vehicle fled. They saw a weapon. The subject then turned around, pointed a weapon at officers, and fired several shots. The officers returned fire and were eventually able to place the subject in custody. A weapon was recovered. No one was struck," Johnson said.

"School is about to start back, so let these schoolchildren have a safe, enjoyable holiday weekend before they start school," he added.

The younger Johnson said his father has offered him advice on his new career.

"Always walk with honor and integrity, and just partner with the community," Officer Daniel Johnson said.

Victim of past Labor Day violence makes amazing recovery

Victims of violence over past Labor Day weekends are grateful for the efforts made by police.

Damari Hendrix's life has been anything but a slam dunk, yet the 18-year-old Foreman High School basketball player said he has nothing to complain about. Damari knows he's lucky to be alive, let alone playing hoops.

Two years ago during Labor Day weekend, Damari was shot in the head following a pickup basketball game at a West Side park.

"I couldn't move my arms, I couldn't talk. I was just lying in the grass," he said.

Doctors gave Damari a 1 percent chance to live before surgery but he refused to be another teenage statistic in Chicago.

"In my head, I was saying to myself, I know I can come back," Damari said.

Damari was determined to not only live, but return to the basketball court 100 percent.

"If someone tells Damari he can't do something, he's going to do it that much more and better," said Brian Rose, Foreman College and Career Prep coach.

With the support of his coach, family and friends and a lot of hard work, Damari returned to the court last year. Next week, Damari will enter his senior year. Exactly two years after being told he may not live, Damari is looking forward to a very bright future.

"He can play college level basketball next year, there is no question in my mind," Rose said.

Damari said he plans to go to college to not only play ball, but to study environmental science. Like so many cases in Chicago, Damari's shooting remains unsolved.

Johnson said he recognizes the frayed relationship between police and community, but he needs the communities help to solve crimes.
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