Threat seen as response to fatal shooting of drug suspect last week.
Gang members have threatened to kill a St. Paul or Minneapolis police officer in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Victor T. Gaddy last week, St. Paul City Council Member Dan Bostrom said Wednesday.
Bostrom, a retired St. Paul police sergeant, said he that became aware of the threat Monday but that it was known to the department earlier. He said he spoke with Police Chief Thomas Smith about it Tuesday.
Sgt. Paul Paulos, a St. Paul police spokesman, said that authorities were "currently working with all law enforcement to verify the threat. We take all threats against police and public safety very seriously."
"They've got everybody on high alert, and they're not taking any chances," Bostrom said.
Local peace activist KG Wilson said the Gangster Disciples of Chicago gang is being accused of making the threat. But Wilson, a member of the gang for several years in Chicago, said he didn't think there was any truth behind it.
"I don't understand where this came from, but it's dangerous," said Wilson, who knew Gaddy. "I'm really upset."
Gaddy, who was living in St. Paul, was fatally shot by St. Paul police about 4 p.m. on Oct. 23 during a Minneapolis police narcotics investigation after Minneapolis police asked St. Paul police to stop his car.
Court documents show that Gaddy, 41, rammed an unmarked police vehicle on E. Jessamine Avenue at Westminster Street, nearly pinning an officer between the cars, then backed into another police vehicle.
Officers felt their lives were in danger and fired on Gaddy, police said. He died at the scene.
Wilson urged police and citizens to use caution in assessing the threat, and said it could put innocent young black men at risk of being harmed.
Wilson said he spoke Wednesday with current and former Gangster Disciple members in Chicago, and that they did not know where the rumor began.
Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Bill Palmer said he could not confirm or deny information about a threat.
"We don't discuss security matters publicly," Palmer said. "Any credible threat against police officers is taken very seriously."
Departments said to be target
Gaddy, an alleged member of the Gangster Disciples, had an extensive police record. He was acquitted of a 1996 murder in Minneapolis that resulted in the death of two alleged rivals from the Mickey Cobra gang.
A passenger in Gaddy's car last week, Terrence J. Wilson, 20, was arrested and charged with felony drug possession. A criminal complaint said 22 grams of crack cocaine also was found in the car. A second passenger was questioned and released.
Bostrom said the threat is especially worrisome because it targets two entire police departments. St. Paul has 594 sworn officers, and Minneapolis has 831.
"This is not one specific person you can attempt to protect," Bostrom said. "This is the entire departments."
In an unrelated case, St. Paul police fatally shot Chue Xiong, 22, of St. Paul about 11:30 p.m. the same day Gaddy was killed. Xiong's family called 911 when he stole a shotgun and a bow and arrows from the family's home.
Two officers spotted Xiong in the 700 block of Payne Avenue. Police said he raised a shotgun at the officers and gunfire was exchanged. Officer Daniel King was wounded and is recovering.
Police will hold a community forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss the two cases at Arlington Hills Lutheran Church, 1115 Greenbrier St., St. Paul. Gaddy's funeral will be Friday in Minneapolis.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib