Officer Bailey "a Gentle Giant" - NBC Chicago

Officer Bailey "a Gentle Giant"



    Hundreds of police officers followed the ambulance carrying Officer Bailey?s body to the Medical Examiner. (Published Sunday, July 18, 2010)

    Chicago police officers paid tribute Monday morning to Officer Michael R. Bailey, a decorated 20-year veteran who was slain Sunday while washing his new Buick.

    Standing outside the District 1 police station, several officers spoke highly of their friend and mentor. Close to a dozen officers stood behind the presenters. The mood was somber, though the recollections were peppered with a few laughs.

    "The wounds that the Chicago Police Department feels have been deepened," said Commander Christopher Kennedy. "We are really reeling with the pain and it grows worse. The city has really lost a guardian angel, which is unfortunate."

    "He was like a gentle giant," said Officer Eugene Goldsmith. "The city is suffering a devastating loss."

    Bailey was shot and fatally wounded at 74th and South Evans early Sunday while cleaning his car and while wearing his uniform, according to police.

    He was off duty at the time of the shooting and had just finished a shift guarding Mayor Daley's home over night. He was approached by at least two men who tried to steal his Buick. Shots were exchanged and the men fled the scene.

    Bailey was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:40a.m.

    Officer Bailey was a decorated 20 year veteran of the police department and was most recently assigned to the 1st District. He was due to retire in less than a month.

    Mayor Richard Daley released a statement regarding Bailey’s death, saying of the slain officer, “I knew him. He was a good man. He did not deserve this."

    "This is a tragic, stunning reminder of the senseless violence that stalks too many of our neighborhoods, Daley said. "Another Chicago police officer gunned down, this time just weeks before leaving a long career of protecting Chicago. It's absolutely outrageous. Our prayers go out to the family of Officer Bailey."

    This 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.