Officer speaks out after video of Chicago cops playing football goes viral

Eric Horng Image
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Chicago cop speaks out after video goes viral
A video of two Chicago police officers playing football with children went viral.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On a block that had recently been cleared of drug activity, two officers were assigned to make sure drug dealers don't return. But instead of just patrolling in their vehicle, those cops picked up a football.

On Monday night, ABC7 spoke to the Chicago police officer who was seen in the video that's now gone viral.

The video shows two Chicago police officers playing with a group of boys. One tosses a football with the kids while the other, Officer Phil Strazzante, gives a boy his intercom.

"We really is having fun with the police," the boy says on the intercom.

"It's nice to slow down, get out of our cars, talk to parents and kids. Lotta smart kids out here, good kids," Strazzante said.

The scene was captured Sunday in the Lawndale neighborhood on a block that, until recently, had been overrun by drugs and gangs.

The boy on the intercom was 14-year-old Deondre Dorsey. He said that game of catch was the first time in a long time his mom let him play outside. On Monday night, he thanked police.

"They care about us kids in this community right now," Deondre said.

The video was captured by Minister Tim Freeman.

"Everybody says the police is bad. I don't think so," Freeman says in the video.

It comes as CPD focuses on community-based policing to curb what has, so far, been a violent summer, at a time when clashes between police and citizens have been front-page news.

"Policing is more about really bonding with the community," Strazzante said.

The video has already received over 200,000 views since Sunday, and Dorsey said the officers even brought hot dogs to him and his friends. On Monday night, he called those cops his role models.