Watch: Chicago cop shares emotional message of solidarity, hope to LEOs amid uptick in suicides

Carlos Yanez, Jr. was wounded a year ago after being shot four times during a traffic stop

By Amanda Spence

CHICAGO — Chicago Police officer Carlos Yanez, Jr., who was wounded a year ago after being shot four times during a traffic stop, is speaking out to other officers amid an increase in suicides.

In 2022, there have been six suicides within the department. There were four the year prior. To combat the issue, the city council approved a new ordinance in June extending LODD benefits to families of officers who have died by suicide. In addition, only one regular day off can now be canceled every week for officers who aren’t on probation – with the exception of certain holidays. And all officers must now have nine hours in-between their shifts going forward.

In a Facebook video, Yanez, who is blind in one of his eyes from the shooting, talked about attending counseling as he dealt with suicidal thoughts following the shooting. The video has been viewed over 6,000 times.

“It's the hardest time ever being a cop. I was in a group class, group therapy that was focused on suicide. A couple of things stood out to me and I carry with me every day. The two main lies to suicide: one, ‘God has abandoned you,’ and two, ‘Your family is better off without you,’" Yanez said. “We need to talk about this.”

At one point during the video, Yanez gets emotional.

“It’s not always easy,” he said. “And everybody needs someone. And I’m fortunate enough to have such a great support system. You’ve gotta look at the positive things in life and focus on that. Just look at the positive things. It’s so important to not forget about those hugs ... all the people that you helped.”

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