Toni Preckwinkle criticized for handling of 2 attacks on security detail outside her Hyde Park home

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Friday, October 8, 2021
Preckwinkle criticized for handling of attacks on security detail
Pressure continues to mount on Toni Preckwinkle to provide more answers about a pair of violent incidents where members of her security detail were attacked outside her Hyde Park h

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Pressure continues to mount on Toni Preckwinkle to provide more answers about a pair of violent incidents where members of her security detail were attacked outside her Hyde Park home.

Preckwinkle explained Friday why her office never released information about either case.

RELATED | Toni Preckwinkle's security detail targeted by carjackers, shots fired in Hyde Park

Police still have made no arrests in either of the incidents and the Superintendent could provide no additional information.

But some Cook County Commissioners continue to question how Board President Toni Preckwinkle handled these attacks and why they were kept quiet - and she blamed Chicago police.

The most recent incident on Sept. 27 involved an attempted carjacking in which the victim was a member of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security detail who fired shots at the offenders scaring them off.

Cook County Commissioners were never informed of the incident.

"Two things happened here, either, one, it was handled incompetently and they just did not know when they decided that they needed to report, or two, they intentionally did not report," Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison said. "There's only one of two reasons, so it's either a level of incompetence that's occurred here, or it was wanton and intentional, not to report the incident."

"They do have processes in place to investigate and gather the appropriate type of information before releasing this type of information to the commissioners and to the public," said Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore said. "Should we have done this quicker and in a faster way, I believe so."

On July 27, another member of Preckwinkle's detail had his service weapon stolen from him while parked outside the board president's home.

President Preckwinkle issuing a statement Friday afternoon addressing concerns about transparency:

"In the past few months, there have been two separate incidents when members of my Executive Detail have been attacked at gunpoint while on duty - July 27 and September 27. Since these random acts occurred in the City of Chicago, the investigating agency is the Chicago Police Department. Both cases remain under investigation by the CPD. A separate internal investigation is being conducted by the Forest Preserves of Cook County Law Enforcement Department.

To protect the integrity of an ongoing investigation, we followed the standard procedure of allowing the lead law enforcement agency, CPD, to determine what information is shared and when.

Prior to these incidents, there have been no known instances over the past decade of a member of my Executive Detail being attacked or involved in an officer-related shooting.

This underscores just how close to home violence is today and as random acts of violence continue to escalate in the City, serves as a reminder that no one is immune.

While police reports were immediately filed in both instances, the public has shown an interest in wanting to also be notified about such incidents. Still, there remains an ongoing and delicate balance of the public's interest in knowing while not compromising an ongoing investigation and risk breaking security protocols.

In the unfortunate event that my Executive Detail is faced with another act of violence, a brief public notification will be issued that continues to ensure the safety and security of my staff, myself and does not compromise any ongoing investigation."

Preckwinkle did not address questions about what agency reviews use of force incidents, or what the official policy is about notification.