Chicago: Three Officers Shot as Homicides Spike — City Removes Columbus Statues

A convicted felon on parole has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of three Chicago police officers outside a station, authorities said Friday.

Lovelle Jordan was taken to the station on the city’s northwest side after officers arrested him Thursday in connection with a June 26 carjacking in downtown Chicago, police said.

Jordan began firing when an officer opened the door of the squad car they had driven him to the station in, Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan said. Officers returned fire and wounded Jordan, who faces six counts of attempted murder as well as charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a weapon as a felon.

Jordan was still hospitalized Friday and did not appear in court. Prosecutors said he has been paralyzed from the chest down.

Jordan’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Scott Finger, objected to the bond hearing since Jordan could not appear, the Chicago Tribune reported. A judge ordered him held without bail.

Two of the wounded officers were treated and released from the hospital. The third officer was shot in the chin and remains hospitalized but is “doing well,” Deenihan said.

“He’s not out of the woods by any means … but it appears he’s going to make it,” he said.

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin DeBoni said during Friday’s court hearing that the officer had been placed in a medically induced coma to prevent damage to his spine.

Police handcuffed Jordan’s hands behind his back when he was arrested, but he apparently was able to move his hands to the front while being transported to the station, Deenihan said.

He said Jordan, 26, was searched before being transported, but police believe he had a gun “extremely secreted, probably very close to his private area” and was able to retrieve the weapon during the ride to the station.

“They didn’t do anything wrong,” Deenihan said of officers who made the arrest. “I will defend them. They’re out there working, they are wrestling with this guy and once again it’s the offender’s action — that’s who’s responsible for shooting the officer in the face.”

Homicides and shootings have surged in Chicago during the first seven months of the year.

From Jan. 1 through the end of July, there were 440 homicides in Chicago and 2,240 people shot, including many of those who were killed, according to statistics released Saturday by the police department.

There were 290 homicides and 1,480 shootings, including people who were killed, in the first seven months of last year.

July was especially violent, as the city recorded 105 homicides and 584 shootings. Among them was a 9-year-old boy who was killed Friday when someone opened fire in the direction of a number of people, including him and his friends, according to police.

There were 308 shootings and 44 homicides in July 2019.

Chicago removed its third and last remaining statue of Christopher Columbus, which had stood on display in the city for nearly 130 years but drawn criticism from those who say the explorer doesn’t deserve veneration because of how he treated Indigenous peoples.

A Christopher Columbus statue stands on Chicago’s South Side Monday, July 27, 2020. (Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The removal of the statue Thursday from its spot overlooking an intersection on the city’s South Side followed the removal last week of Columbus statues in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park and in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood. The mayor’s office decided to temporarily remove the statues after demonstrators seeking their removal clashed with police.

“Following public safety concerns over planned demonstrations similar to the one in Grant Park two weeks ago, the City has temporarily relocated the Christopher Columbus statue at Drake Fountain in the South Chicago neighborhood until further notice,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said in a statement. “This temporary relocation is part of an effort to prevent individuals from pulling down statues in an extremely dangerous manner, which has created unsafe situations for protesters and police, as well as residents of the surrounding community.”

Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza told the Sun-Times that she wanted to remove the Columbus statue from the South Side neighborhood.

Lightfoot has said she wants Chicago to keep the statues to preserve history and that their removal is only temporary.

Some alderman have criticized Lightfoot, saying that they don’t want the statues to be reinstalled.

The statue removed Thursday was dedicated in 1892 and is believed to be Chicago’s first statue of Columbus, according to the city’s website.