As it seems to most weekends, Chicago erupted into a warzone over the Easter holiday weekend as shootings killed nine people and left at least 36 other people wounded
All of this comes on the heels of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announcing big drops in the city’s violent crime rate, though McCarthy says this weekend “doesn’t wipe out” the city’s “progress.”
“This doesn’t wipe out what has happened over the last two years,” McCarthy said. “This is a conversation that we’ve had time and time again. There’s no magic formula here. We have a plan, we have a strategy, and it’s hard work. That’s what it is. It’s a day-by-day, minute-by-minute grind, and we’re into busy season. That’s what it is.”
In 2012, Chicago saw 516 murders, the second time the city has eclipsed the 500 murder mark since 2003. Last year, homicides dropped to 415, the city’s lowest total in nearly five decades. Of course, that stat has not come without criticism as skeptics have accused the police department of cooking the books by labeling potential or likely homicides as “death investigations” to inflate “progress.”
This weekend was the second weekend in a row that at least 36 people were shot in the city. To that, McCarthy says “we can do things to improve what’s happening, but until such time as we get some help with the gun laws in the state of Illinois, we’re up against it. We’re drinking from the firehose.”
Sure, if you live in a city as violent as Chicago, it apparently makes all the sense in the world to give up your guns.
Last year, Chicago set a mandatory minimum of three years for anyone charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Of course, killing someone comes with a potential life sentence, and that hasn’t been much of a deterrent for the good folks of Chitown, has it?
(Image courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil)