According to the numbers available on Monday, at least 74 people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, 40 of whom caught a bullet in just a seven-hour time period on early Sunday morning. The overall violence raged from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, shocking police and residents in a city that has become nearly accustomed to this kind of brutal, warzone-like bloodshed. The victims ranged from an 11 year-old all the way to a 62-year-old. Police said that some of the shootings were random while others were suspected to be targeted gangland executions.
The bloody weekend came hot on the heels of an announcement from Chicago authorities, touting the fact that shootings were down 30% in the Windy City.
Even taking this weekend out of the equation, of course, the South and West sides of Chicago remain some of the most dangerous pieces of terrain in the nation. Police may be proud of what they’ve done to get shooting rates down from the last couple of years, but the hard numbers tell the story of a city going to waste. The Chicago Tribune reports that “at least 1,700 people have been shot in the city this year.” That includes at least 300 homicides since we rolled the calendar over to 2018. If those are the numbers of an “improved, safer” Chicago, it gives you an idea of just how far gone this city was already.
At least ten people were killed in the weekend violence.
“Detectives are working around the clock to investigate the incidents, build a timeline of events and identify any shooter,” said Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller. “We’ll also be conducting coordinated enforcement missions to target individuals that are driving the violence in these areas and focus on where we believe retaliatory violence may occur.”
The Chicago Police Department told reporters that it had put into place a data-driven strategy that would allow the department to predict crime before it occurred. We suppose that strategy must have been sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere over the weekend.
It cannot be overlooked, of course, that one of the main crime prevention strategies in Chicago is focused on the guns themselves. And while we applaud efforts by both local and federal authorities to get stolen and illegal guns off the streets, Chicago’s gun-focused gameplan is clearly not having the results they want to see. The city already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country; simultaneously, it is home to some of the most deadly streets in America. Blame surrounding states, blame Congress, blame Republicans, blame whomever you want. The fact remains that Chicago is a real-time example of the maxim: If a criminal wants to get a gun, laws aren’t going to stop him.