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Sen. Kirk: ‘Guy got popped’ in gang shooting during CPD ride-along

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk right speaks Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy other arelaw enforcement officials Monday Aug. 19 2013 Chicago.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, right, speaks to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and other area law enforcement officials on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, in Chicago. | AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

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Updated: September 21, 2013 6:17AM



U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk adopted the language of the street Monday morning, telling reporters “one guy got popped” when he went on a recent South Side ride-along with Chicago’s top cop.

The senator — who was recently criticized by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush for suggesting an “elitist, white boy” solution to the city’s gang problem — used the street slang for a shooting as he appeared alongside Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and a handful of top suburban cops to tout his push for a federal anti-gang coordinator in Chicago.

Kirk joked during the news conference at the Union League Club that McCarthy had “edjumacated” him about gangs during the July visit to Auburn-Gresham, which he initially confused with the neighboring Englewood community. “We had an interesting ride-along,” he said, later adding, “one guy got popped” — phrasing that prompted a smile from McCarthy.

Kirk found himself at the center of a political spat earlier this summer after he urged federal authorities to make mass arrests of 18,000 members of the Gangster Disciples street gang.

Though that’s a demand he stopped making after Rush and others damned it as simplistic and unworkable, he said Monday that he had wanted to “shock the people of Illinois, because, I think, when I talked about gangs Downstate, people would think about maybe a scene from ‘The Untouchables,’ or a Capone get together with 20 hoods, and bashing somebody in the head with a baseball bat.”

Kirk’s efforts to find additional federal funds for fighting street gangs and to have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives appoint a Chicago anti-gang coordinator were first reported by the Sun-Times Monday.

McCarthy and his suburban counterparts praised Kirk’s efforts at Monday’s event. McCarthy said the shooting he responded to with Kirk was non-fatal, and that the victim was a known gang member and “bad guy” who refused to cooperate with police.

“He’s going to take that retribution himself, if he doesn’t work with us,” McCarthy predicted.

Chicago Police did not respond to requests for further details of the shooting. Kirk’s staff described the ride along as educational but declined to answer questions about what the senator learned from the shooting incident.

The senator, who suffered a stroke in 2012, said he still plans to visit Rush’s South Side district with the congressman and “listen” to what Rush says his constituents need.

Email: kjanssen@suntimes.com

Twitter: @kimjnews



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