07/06/2012 11:18 am ET

Garry McCarthy Under The Gun

Garry McCarthy was on his victory lap. NATO had ended two days before, it was warm and sunny, and the Chicago police superintendent stood with eight officers on the warning track of U.S. Cellular Field. As personal guests of Jerry Reinsdorf, the Chicago White Sox chairman, the group watched the team take batting practice before a game against the Minnesota Twins, mingling with the players as they wandered in and out of the dugout. But mostly everyone just fawned over McCarthy. A dozen reporters and TV cameras gathered in foul territory for an informal news conference, White Sox Manager Robin Ventura set aside his usual pregame preparations to say hello, and Reinsdorf himself walked onto the field and handed McCarthy a T-shirt with a White Sox logo over the Chicago flag.

The career cop worked the crowd with a swagger, stopping for a series of one-on-one TV interviews, clearly relishing the chance to discuss a subject other than the city’s rising murder numbers. In the seventh inning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel watched from the Sox broadcast booth as McCarthy and his officers—including one who was stabbed in the leg by a NATO protester—were honored on the field. Midceremony, Emanuel rose to his feet and clapped, like a general observing his troops on parade.