In March 1990, Chicago Police officer James Love, assigned to 002nd District Tactical Unit, was informed by his Lieutenant, Leroy Grant that the Gangster Disciples street gang had a meeting and announced a $60,000 contract on Officer Love’s life. Love had arrested numerous members of the Gangster Disciples and was instrumental in dismantling many of their drug operations. On July 6, 1990, while still assigned to the 002nd District Tactical Unit, Officer Love was working with his teammates Officers Marty Ryczek and Dave Feltman. The trio proceeded toward their target area of the Stateway Housing Projects and established a very meticulous surveillance plan which included monitoring Officer Love who had been dropped off at 37th and LaSalle Streets.
While waiting for his teammates to stage a safe set-up location for surveillance, Officer Love was approached by a cargo van. Without warning, the doors of the van flew open and two armed offenders forced the officer inside, disarmed him of his service weapon and discarded his police radio. The officer was then driven to an abandoned garage and forced from the van at gunpoint. The officer pleaded for his life as he was shot once above his left knee, twice in his sternum and once in his elbow. The officer was left for dead. Fortunately, Officer Love was able to exercise the training he received from the Chicago Police Training Academy as well as from his Sergeant, Kenneth Mann, a Special Forces veteran. As Officer Love laid there fighting for his life, he recalled a roll call where Sgt. Mann was teaching his team survival skills and other techniques. Mann’s words echoed in the officer’s mind, “bullets don’t always kill, shock will kill you- remain calm and assess first.” Officer Love asserted his survival skills by removing his shoe laces and creating a tourniquet with them for his leg and his arm. He then began walking the best he could out of the abandoned garage, calling out repeatedly with his badge in his hand, “help I’m an officer, I just been shot, Help!!!” A man placing fishing equipment into the trunk of a car looked into his direction as he was shouting and pleading for help, but the man backed away and walked into a building. With shock setting in, Officer Love leaned against a fence and slid down into a seated position. Moments later, a woman emerged from a building with towels in her hands and she began to cradle Officer Love’s head in her lap. Love recalls hearing sirens approach as officers from the 021st District came to his rescue.
Using Love’s descriptions of the offenders, his fellow officers were able to apprehend and place into custody two of the three offenders that same night. A third offender was apprehended a day or so later. James Love recovered and returned to active duty within nine months of the incident. He later became a part of a Federal team where he infiltrated and testified in court against the leadership of the Gangster Disciples, including Chairman Larry Hoover. This ultimately led to the dismantling of the gang’s hierarchy.
Officer James Love is now a dedicated thirty-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department currently assigned to the Bureau of Investigative Services Organized Crime Narcotics Division. Since his return to full active-duty, Officer Love has conducted various undercover, covert operations which include controlled narcotics transactions leading to the execution of search and arrest warrants. He holds Special Deputation credentials with the Chicago District U.S. Marshals Service and has been detailed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Chicago Division Joint Terrorism Task Force. He has been trained by the U.S. Secret Service for protective security detail missions that included the security of dignitaries which include several U.S. Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Foreign Royalties. He has also conducted security details for the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Operation Push and V.I.P security details for Operation Push Events and security for the founder of Ebony/Jet Magazine and Johnson Publishing Company-Mr. John H. Johnson. Officer Love has been recognized in the media on “Top Cops” (CBS) and 20/20 (ABC). He has also been profiled in written publications: “Sacred Bonds; Black Men and Their Mothers,” Keith Brown; “Violent Encounters,” FBI / Justice Department / National Institute of Justice; “In the Line of Fire,” FBI / Justice Department /National Institute of Justice;”Street Survival”, Caliber Press; and “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2”; Canfield, Hansen, and Shimoff.