Watch CBS News

McCarthy Struggling With Being 'On The Sidelines' Amid Attacks On Police

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The impact of the murders of three police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday could be felt in Chicago, where police already were taking steps for extra protection in the wake of the slayings of five police officers in Dallas, but former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy offered a different perspective on the threat to police.

McCarthy said it's not a question of training officers differently to deal with the dangers they are facing lately.

"I think we're looking at this in the wrong fashion. The question is, what are we doing about the people who are involved in facilitating that type of behavior? I've got to tell you, there's plenty of accountability to go around. I'm not hearing the word accountability anymore. Does it exist, or is it only for the police?" he said. "There's a culture of non-compliance with the law that is now in vogue in this country, and it's being facilitated by the political environment that we're in. It's being facilitated by elected officials and community activists, who actively encourage people disobedience with the law and the police in general."

McCarthy did say there are safer ways of policing.

He agreed with the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, which wants to ban one-officer patrol cars, halt outdoor roll calls, and stop deploying officers at fixed posts; he said both things make officers easy targets.

McCarthy, who was fired late last year amid the fallout from the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald, said it's been challenging for him to see the tragic events unfold in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

"It's been difficult anytime I've heard it in my police career, but what's more difficult for me is the fact that I'm on the sidelines watching what's happening during the worst crisis in my chosen profession in the 35 years that I've been around it. That's worse for me, watching it and not being able to do anything about it," he said.

McCarthy said there's no way to prevent an ambush like those in Dallas and Baton Rouge; but he said, based on his experience, Chicago police can focus on tactics.

He also said it's time for protesters and police to start a dialogue.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.