When 39 people were shot and killed 10 of them on Memorial Day weekend 2020, then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it a “bloodbath” and her newly hired police Sgt. Declared “failed”. David Brown.
Mayor Brandon Johnson has no plans to similarly reduce Chicago’s interim police sprint. Fred Waller – 59 people were shot, 11 of them fatally, after this year’s three-day holiday weekend.
Johnson said the level of violence — the worst shooting since 2016 — was “unbearable.”
“This has caused pain and trauma that has devastated Chicago communities, and my heart breaks for everyone affected,” Johnson said in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon. “That’s why, as mayor, I’m committed to using every resource at my disposal to protect every life in our city.”
A City Hall source, who asked not to be named, said Johnson is well aware that it will take time to slow the wave of violent crime that has dominated the mayoral campaign.
A City Hall source said Memorial Day weekend is a “complex ecosystem” with “numerous public safety challenges.”
This year, his administration distributed $2.5 million to 253 grassroots organizations to host barbecues, sporting events and other constructive alternative activities for youth and families over the long holiday weekend.
Another part of the challenge is preserving “public gathering spaces” such as lakefront beaches, downtown and neighborhood commercial corridors, and street festivals. This requires a “significant presence” of police officers.
“There was a lot of activity going on and that activity was largely safe. We had additional activities going on because of these community organizations throughout the city and had many successful events involving families and especially youth. . . . We haven’t seen the major incidents that we’ve seen in most of the city at large,” the City Hall source said, without mentioning the shooting that rocked the North Avenue beach for a few hours Friday afternoon. closed for
“Where we struggled, obviously, was on some of the shootings and homicides. And primarily we struggled between midnight and 4 a.m. That’s something we’re going to have to look at more closely.
Discussions are ongoing to devise a “new strategy” for the most violent overnight hours, the source said, and already, “adjustments” made for holiday weekends have yielded encouraging results.
Memorial Day weekend was Chicago’s most violent since 2016, and the deadliest in the past decade. There were more homicide victims in 2022 alone, at 13, including three people injured at the end of the holiday who died the following month.
More than two-thirds of people shot this weekend — 41 of 59 — were in seven police districts: South Chicago, Gresham, Deering, Ogden, Harrison, Near West and Town Hall.
Notably, there were only two shootings in Englewood and Austin districts. According to police statistics, the Englewood District has seen a three-year decline in shooting incidents. So far this year, as of Sunday, the Austin district has seen a slight increase in the number of shootings compared to last year, from 46 to 49. But it is still less than three years ago.
The shooting with the most victims happened Saturday in Auburn-Gresham. Four people were shot when a gunman opened fire from a car near 79th Street and Ashland Avenue, police said. A 69-year-old woman was shot dead in a nearby car. Three other people were injured.
Two 2-year-old children were also injured in separate shootings.
Not included in the shooting count is another murder victim: a woman who was stabbed to death on the same block as Johnson’s home after a man accused her of stealing from him while they were drug dealers. used to, according to the prosecution.
Saturday saw the highest number of shootings, with 25 victims. Sunday was 19; and Monday, the 12th. Three people were shot on Friday evening. For purposes of yesterday’s Memorial Day weekend, the Sun-Times counted shootings from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Despite Johnson’s blocking of funding for community groups, Jamal Green, a two-time former mayoral candidate who supported Paul Velas in the April runoff, criticized the Johnson administration for not targeting blacks. Pham is prioritizing $51 million in funding for undocumented immigrants for communities. weekend violence. The immigrant funding is expected to be approved by the City Council on Wednesday.
“About 12 people were killed. We are in a state of emergency in the city and have been for many years,” Green said outside City Hall Tuesday morning. “And now is the time to urgently address this public safety crisis just as we did with COVID. Just as we are currently doing with the migrant crisis.