Chicago, IL – Shootings and other violence at gang funerals in and around Chicago has gotten so bad that law enforcement has proposed creating a task force to tackle the problems of gang funeral attendees shooting at each other and waving guns outside of their cars, FOX News reported.
On Thursday, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart held a meeting that included political, religious, and funeral industry leaders to discuss the growing safety issues surrounds gang funerals in and around the Chicago area.
He proposed those specific groups form the task force.
“These funeral processions have gone through our communities where people have been hanging out of cars. There have been shots fired,” Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin told WFLD.
Funeral director John McCall said he feared for the safety of his staff who work at the gang funerals.
“It is dramatic for the families and very dramatic even for the funeral directors, the violence that’s going on and all the things that’s happening. Guns and knives,” McCall said.
Authorities said they planned to have the task force in place and operational this spring, ahead of the expected uptick in murders that usually occurs in Chicago during the summer months.
“This has been something that has been escalating I’d say over the last ten to 15 years from where it was not much of a problem. It was very isolated. To now it occurs more frequently,” Sheriff Dart said.
The sheriff said he doesn’t plan to drag out the organization of the task force.
He told WFLD he hoped to have ideas and proposals that could be executed as early as May.
Sheriff Dart said that at least one cemetery had already started hiring off-duty police officers to work details at gang funerals.
This practice was first considered after a gun battle erupted at a gang funeral in December of 2017, when the Hillside police chief rammed a suspect’s vehicle with his police SUV to capture a gunman.