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Emanuel Honors Fallen Cop; Attends Slain Teen's Funeral

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Violence on the streets of Chicago was the main course on Wednesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's menu.

First, Emanuel attended a ceremony to retire the star of a fallen Chicago Police Officer, then he went to the funeral of a 13-year-old boy who was killed while playing basketball.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine explains how the mayor linked those two tragedies.

They were both great losses for the city, to say nothing of the family members Emanuel tried to comfort.

Not a day goes by without hearing Emanuel talk about tough choices and difficult decisions, but on the whole, being mayor has been a pretty good gig for Emanuel. But on Wednesday, not so much.

Darius Brown, 13, was laid to rest in the South Shore neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. He was shot and killed last week while playing basketball in a Bronzeville park.

"The absurdity of a 13-year-old in a casket, how the hell do we live like that. What have we become?" Rev. Michael Pfleger said at Brown's funeral.

Emanuel attended the funeral and tried to comfort the family.

A few hours earlier, just a few miles away, another family mourned the loss of a loved one.

The Chicago Police Department retired the star of fallen Chicago Police Officer Michael Flisk, who was shot and killed last November while processing a South Side crime scene.

"Michael's loss was a loss for your family, it's a loss for the city," Emanuel told Flisk's family. "Darius was no doubt a loss for his family. But as mayor, when a 13 year old – being a child – is gunned down, it's a loss for our city."

For Flisk's fellow officers, friends and loved ones, there was certainly grief, but also a quiet resolve.

"We will solider on in our quest for a peaceful city. We know there will be more tragedies, more officers that give everything, more Michael Flisks, more pain, more retired stars," said Chicago FOP President Michael Shields.

There are already nearly 500 retired stars at Chicago Police Headquarters, honoring fallen officers. Flisk's was just one of five added in the last year alone – highlighting the risks officers take every day.

"Most people run away from gunshots, right? And police officers run to them, just like firefighters run into fires when everybody else is running out," Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

McCarthy said he's never looked back on the dangers of being a police officer and asked himself if the risk is worth it.

"We have this greater spiritual draw; that we know that we make the difference in life and death on a daily basis," McCarthy said.

Emanuel seemed unusually moved by the two ceremonies on Wednesday.

"I want the city to know that when we lose somebody to gun violence, it's a mindless, senseless act. We are less as a city than we can be," Emanuel said.


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