Chicago police are actually celebrating today after 7 people were shot dead and another 35 were wounded over the holiday weekend. They are pleased because it symbolizes a reduction in shootings from previous years. They credit a pre-holiday round-up of criminals, and adding an extra 1,300 officers to the streets.
But despite these measures, the city still was overwhelmed with violence.
The police department held a press conference to boast of the reduction in violence:
“First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro, leading the department while Supt. Eddie Johnson recovers from kidney transplant surgery, said Monday night that violence was down from last year. By 8 p.m. Monday, CPD officers had seized more than 100 guns.
“’That’s more than one gun an hour so far,’ Navarro said during a brief press conference outside the 7th District headquarters in Englewood.
“’We still have the rest of the night to go so we know that’s a challenge, we aren’t declaring victory. One shooting, one murder, that’s too much for us.’
“Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that, according to CPD records, murders had decreased 46 percent and shootings had decreased 30 percent between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Monday compared to the same period of the Labor Day weekend last year. Guglielmi said these were the lowest shootings and murder statistics during the holiday weekend since 2014.”
To be fair, they did indicate that one murder was too much. But even trying to make a point about violence going from cataclysmic to not-as-cataclysmic is dubious.
On Friday 140 people accused of ‘driving violence’ were arrested. They used this tactic to prevent an exceptionally bloody holiday weekend. But it’s unclear how this will affect crime going forward in a city plagued by murder.
Last year, 13 people were shot and killed while another 52 were wounded. This year, the 7 deaths included a 15-year-old boy:
“The seven deaths this weekend, including the killing of a 15-year-old boy Monday evening, were the latest casualties of Chicago’s gun violence that has taken the lives of at least 438 people since the start of 2017, according to data maintained by the Sun-Times.
“The holiday weekend’s latest killing happened at 10:55 p.m. Monday in the LeClaire Courts neighborhood on the Southwest Side. A 38-year-old man was on the sidewalk in the 4400 block of South Lawler when two people walked up to him and opened fire, according to police. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“The 15-year-old boy was shot to death about three hours earlier during an argument in the Southwest Side Lawndale neighborhood. He was on the sidewalk about 7:50 p.m. in front of a home in the 1500 block of South Drake when he started arguing with a group of people, police said. During the argument, someone pulled out a gun and shot him in the back. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he died.”
Last weekend another 7 people were murdered and 25 were injured from gun violence. Chicago boasts of having the strictest laws when it comes to guns. Yet, that has failed to result in a reduction of crime.