6:29 PM CDT, May 11, 2013
A Chicago police officer shot during an exchange of gunfire with a man in the South Chicago neighborhood last year was among a group of officers honored at the White House today.
Del Pearson, a South Chicago District tactical officer when he was wounded last year, is among almost 50 officers from around the country being honored this weekend by the National Association of Police Organizations as part of its TOP COPS Awards program. Officers are nominated for the award by fellow police officers.
President Barack Obama gave a speech at the White House today praising the officers, and said that although policing is the officers’ job, more than that, "It's about who they are, what they're made of."
"These officers represent the best of us and they deserve the best from us," Obama said, according to a transcript released by the White House. "And that begins with being thankful to them not just today, but for the rest of their lives and recognizing the sacrifices not only they make, but their parents and spouses and kids who watch their loved ones go off and serve every day, knowing that there's real danger out there."
Pearson was shot after he responded to a "juvenile disturbance" in the 8400 block of South Kingston Avenue about 10:45 p.m. on March 19, 2012 and found four people initially suspected of violating curfew, police have said.
Paris Sadler, now 21, has been charged with attempted murder in the shooting. Police say Sadler ran away and Pearson gave chase. The two ended up in a front yard when Sadler opened fire, striking Pearson -- who also fired -- in the chest, police said.
Sadler was arrested at his home soon after, and remains in Cook County Jail, held without bail and awaiting trial. His next hearing is set for Wednesday.
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