The holiday weekend crime report for Chicago was released early today and the number of shootings were staggering. With the number of shooting standing at 21 with one fatality on Saturday, the official number on Monday morning was at least 82 shootings with 14 fatalities. The mood of the citizens who gathered a Millennium Park this weekend was festive as if to anesthetize themselves from the stain of violence that has become a symbol of Chicago lifestyle.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered Hundreds of extra officers to the Chicago streets this past weekend, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said, but by Monday morning, the totals were still depressing: McCarthy said his department mostly had a grip on the violence during the holiday weekend, until Sunday, when there were 21 shooting incidents.
McCarty said in an interview to reporters from Chicago Police Department’s 10th District: “Yesterday is the day that really blew it up for us.” He said his department is still analyzing what might have caused the surge in violence. McCarthy said the weekend violence in the city was “unacceptable,” given the fact that he had a plan in place with “hundreds more officers” assigned to the streets.
17-year-old Patricia Donald who recently graduated from Englewood High School said: “I gotta get out of here. In Englewood it’s looking like everybody is gonna be dead.” Patricia's car was once caught in gang crossfire, and will be moving to Oklahoma to attend college in the Fall.
Monday afternoon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office issued a statement.
“The number of shootings and murders that took place over the holiday weekend is simply unacceptable, and points out that we still have work to do. The solution does not just include policing — although we’ll continue to look for ways to put more police where they’re needed,” the mayor said in the statement.
“We also have to give our young people alternatives to the street, and as a community we need to demand more of ourselves and our neighbors. This violence is unacceptable wherever it occurs in our city and all of us need to take a stand. The only way we will meet this challenge to our future is to join with one another and create a partnership for peace.”
According to police records, most of the young men killed over the weekend were either Black or Hispanic under the age of 35. Two of the young men killed were teenagers. Shaquille Ross, 18, and Kezon Lamb, 19. One was a woman. Details of the latest shooting victims are not yet available.
McCarthy, standing beside a cache of recently seized guns and rifles, touched on one of his favorite themes — the lack of punishment in Illinois for people who illegally own guns. “There’s a greater sanction from the gang members who lose that firearm from their gang than there is to go to jail for possession of that gun,” McCarthy said.