Wake Held for Slain Officer, Reward Rises to $70k

Officer Michael R. Bailey to be laid to rest Friday

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 PM CDT
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A visitation Thursday for slain Chicago police officer Michael Bailey included a continued call for witnesses to come forward and break the code of silence.

Colleagues, family and friends gathered Thursday afternoon at the A.R. Leak and Sons Funeral Home, at 7838 S. Cottage Grove, to bid farewell.

"It is unacceptable that killers can shoot in our communities and still go home and watch TV and eat McDonald's like nothing's happened," said Fr. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.

Bailey had just returned home from proving overnight security detail at Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's home on Sunday morning when he was approached by at least two men.  With Bailey still in his police uniform, the men tried to steal Bailey's Buick, police said.  Gunfire was exchanged and the men fled the scene.

The officer later died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

No one is in custody, but to those who have knowledge of who shot the still-uniformed officer, Pfleger had a simple message:  "Turn them in."

Gov. Pat Quinn has ordered all state offices to fly their flags at half-staff in memory of Bailey, from sunrise on Wednesday to sunset on Friday.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Sabina Church, at 1210 W. 78th Pl.

Bailey is the third officer fatality since May. Officer Thor Soderberg was shot and killed by a man two weeks prior. Officer Thomas Wortham was shot and killed outside his father's home by three assailants the month before that.

The reward for information leading to the arrest of Bailey's killers rose to $70,000 on Thursday.

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation offers an automatic, standing $10,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who shoots or shoots at a Chicago Police Officer.

Residents with information are urged to call 1-888-YPO-Shot.

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