Family, City Pays Tribute to Officer Bailey

Second Chicago police officer funeral in 8 days

Family, friends and colleagues on Friday paid their final respects to Officer Michael Bailey, who was gunned down on the South Side as he returned home from a shift guarding Mayor Richard Daley's home.

Bailey's flag-draped coffin was placed in front of the altar and a large portrait of Bailey stood next to a stand of flowers.

St. Sabina’s Catholic Church was filled to capacity. On the projected hottest day of the summer, supporters fanned themselves to stay cool.

Fr. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, a long time anti-gun and anti-violence activist in the community, led the proceedings.

Bailey's brother, Solomon, spoke about the time he spent with Bailey after Solomon's retirement, and spoke on the importance of family. Solomon Bailey then sang a song his brother had requested called "Song of My Father" by Horace Silver.

He sang without accompaniment.

Other speakers whiped away tears and prayed that the man who gunned down still-uniformed officer will be brought to justice.

Bailey’s niece, Lamar Rimes, recited a poem for her fallen uncle, calling him “a man of tolerance strength, with an enduring sense of grace and humility.”

Jason and Brandon Tatem read from the Old Scripture: “Even when I go through the darkest valley I fear no danger for you are with me."

Supt. Jody Weis spoke as well, and he drew applause when he vowed justice would be done.

"These individuals who hide in the night and look to exploit any advantage they can have thrown down the gauntlet and invited a
fight; not one that we asked for, but one that will accept," he said.  "I have one piece of advice for those who think that they can attack the police and the community and get away with it:  lay down your arms and run."

Mayor Daley also rose to speak.

"Public service, that's what he did his entire life," said Daley. "Officer Bailey, star number 13970, end of watch July 18th, 2010. That is not the end of his watch. He is looking down upon you! Your family! He is looking down upon the citizens to come forward!"

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 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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