The fiancée of an off-duty Chicago police officer who was left paralyzed after trying to break up a fight at a Beverly bar is speaking out, blasting city leadership and demanding action to curb recent increases in violent crime.
Danny Golden was shot during the incident at a bar over the weekend, with the bullet severing nerves in his spine and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
“God had him here for a reason, and I just really feel he saved lives, and I hate that it was him who got hurt, but I’m thankful because no one else would be able to handle it,” Casey Szaflarski told NBC 5.
She recently made her feelings public in a post on Facebook that has garnered thousands of likes and shares. In the post, she expressed her disappointment with city leadership, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. David Brown, and says that they have not done enough to acknowledge her fiancee’s service to the community.
“My husband is never going to be able to walk again,” she said. “And the fact that I haven’t even heard a word about any of this, it’s just disrespectful.”
Brown declined to comment on the Facebook post when asked about the criticisms during a media availability on Wednesday.
Three men have been charged in the shooting. All three men are being held without bond in the case.
“This city is out of control, and something needs to be done,” Szaflarski said.
Meanwhile, fundraisers are being held to generate funds to help pay for medical bills and other items. A lemonade stand in Mount Greenwood raised more than $12,000 on Wednesday, and a GoFundMe has also raised thousands of dollars for Golden and his family.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady also sent Golden a message, thanking him for his service both as a police officer and as a retired military veteran.
St. Rita, where Golden attended high school, will hold a prayer service on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.