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Sneed exclusive: Shot cop Del Pearson receives gift of a lifetime from top cop

Officer Del W. Pearsholds his newly-issued police badge (with number 6254 thwas given his father Officer Delphys W. PearsJr.) his

Officer Del W. Pearson holds his newly-issued police badge (with the number 6254 that was given to his father, Officer Delphys W. Pearson Jr.), at his home on the far South Side Wednesday, March 28, 2012, in Chicago. The younger Pearson's badge number was previously 16462. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 30, 2012 8:32AM



The Pearson Case ...

It’s called Chicago Police star #6254.

It also was part of the tonic enabling a critically wounded Chicago police officer, Del Pearson, to go home to his family Tuesday.

◆To wit: Top cop Garry McCarthy may snag headlines for his tireless anti-street gang work, but his quiet work behind the crime scene — especially in the case of Pearson — deserves a big hand.

◆Translation: Sneed hears McCarthy brought a special gift to Pearson, who was nearly killed March 19 when he was shot in the chest just above his bulletproof vest.

◆Star Power: Several days before Pearson’s release from Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn Wednesday, McCarthy brought Pearson his father’s old police star, which now will be his active duty star (Chicago police have stars, not badges). It was on Pearson’s arm when he left the hospital.

◆Mac Attack: “For years Pearson had been trying to get it, but the star his dad wore had been recirculated to other officers over the years and his efforts had failed,” said a source. “When the Police Superintendent (McCarthy) found out about it, he tracked it down and gave it to Pearson. It worked wonders on how he felt.”

◆Background: “My dad worked for the Chicago Police department for 29 years before he retired,” Pearson told Sneed. “We even worked in the same South Chicago district. But he died before I graduated from the police academy. I attempted to get my dad’s badge number for ten years, but it didn’t work out. It was issued to someone else.”

◆Mom to the rescue: “While I was in surgery, it was my mother who told Superintendent McCarthy about my dad and the star and the effort I had put into trying to retrieve it,” Pearson told Sneed.

◆Finale: “When Superintendent McCarthy presented it to me it was very emotional,” said Pearson. “What can I say. It was a great thing. It was just what I needed.”

◆The kicker: What goes around comes around. Sneed has learned when McCarthy was a New York police officer, he was given the great gift of his father’s NYPD shield.

Gala gab ...

It’s been hush hush, but philanthropist Ann Lurie, the queen of good works, has pulled off a charity coup.

◆To wit: Lurie, a former pediatric nurse whose tireless efforts have provided healthcare to children worldwide, has snagged top star power — actress Sarah Jessica Parker and singer/actor Harry Connick Jr. — to showcase the gala celebrating the April 20th opening of the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s hospital of Chicago.

◆An amazing woman: Lurie has devoted herself to helping others since the death of her husband, Robert, to colon cancer — and has donated $100 million to the children’s hospital project.

The Trayvon Case ...

It isn’t funny: The big question in Tinseltown: In light of the Trayvon Martin shooting, will the new Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/Joanh Hill comedy film “Neighborhood Watch” keep to its timetable of being released July 27th — if the Trayvon Martin Neighborhood Watch case is still snagging headlines.

The Rush Hour ...

I’ve known U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush since his Black Panther days. So it came as no surprise when Rush garnered headlines Wednesday by wearing a gray “hoodie” over his head while addressing Congress, I’ve always felt, while talking to Bobby over the years, that’s he’s been anxious to resurrect his 1960’s Black Panther alter ego.

◆“It’s always been a part of me and one of the mantras of the Black Panther Party was to serve the people body and soul,” Rush told Sneed Tuesday — the day before he reprimanded on the House floor wearing a hoodie after giving a speech about the killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hoodie when he was fatally shot.

◆Rush, who wore the outfit to emphasize to House members “racial profiling has to stop,” was an original member of the Black Panthers in Chicago.

◆Quoth Rush: “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.”

$$$$$ ...

The posh Los Angeles mansion used by John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier on their honeymoon — and where the infamous “severed horse head” scene from “The Godfather” movie was filmed — is on the market for $95 million.

A Merkel moment ...

Just in case you are interested, German chancellor Angela Merkel ­­—who ­­has been trying to put Europe’s economic house in order — likes to relax by watching her favorite TV show: “Midsomer Murders” reruns on BBC television.

Today’s birthdays: Elle Macpherson, 48; Jennifer Capriati, 36, and Lucy Lawless, 44.



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