Emotional, unique message from top Chicago police official to Philly cops

Kristen Johanson
May 22, 2019 - 6:11 pm
An annual luncheon brought together the men and women in blue from across the Delaware Valley, and one from Chicago who had a unique message for police officers about being backed by their prosecutors.

Kristen Johanson/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An annual luncheon brought together the men and women in blue from across the Delaware Valley and one from Chicago who had a unique message for police officers about being backed by their prosecutors. 

Before the awards and accolades at the Citizens Crime Commission luncheon, Chicago police First Deputy Anthony Riccio emotionally reflected on his own officers who have died in the line of duty and on the mounting tensions surrounding his police department and progressive prosecutors, outlining a detailed account into the investigation of former Empire actor Jussie Smollett.  

"Smollett has stopped returning phone calls from the detectives. He declined a request by detectives to turn over his telephone records. He hired an attorney and he hired a public relations firm," Riccio said. 

Related: 'Empire' will go 1 more season, Smollett's future is unclear

Smollett was indicted by a grand jury on 16 felony counts, but all charges were later dropped by the city's district attorney. 

Riccio received a standing ovation and used the story to reflect on what he calls a broken bridge between progressive prosecutors, like Chicago and Philadelphia, and their respective police departments, and told the officers not to let it affect the job.  

"Despite the progress we made, we still battle those who are anti-police," he said. 

Philadelphia's District Attorney Larry Krasner was not at the luncheon this year or last year, breaking a decadeslong tradition of having the city's top prosecutor attend the annual event. 

Among the honorees this year included Philadelphia police officer Paul Sulock, who was shot in the leg last fall, and four police officers from Lower Makefield Township who rescued seven people and several dogs from a burning Bucks County nursing home.

Another Philadelphia police officer, Richard Riddick, was honored with a city award for his help in the investigation and arrests of four suspects in the West Philadelphia basement murders of four people