Just last week there were some massive protests in Chicago where outraged citizens shut down major traffic lanes, demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel do something about the wave of gang violence which has sent the city’s murder rate to new heights. While we shouldn’t condone the use of tactics which close down infrastructure in the name of free speech, it’s clear that the residents of the city have plenty to be upset about. You can expect those protests to grow in volume because this weekend saw yet another staggering toll in shootings and loss of life. There were more than sixty people shot over the weekend, with ten dead. (ABC News)
Dozens of people have been wounded in weekend shootings across Chicago police said.
63 people have been shot, ten fatally, since 5 p.m. Friday. 34 of the shootings and five deaths occurred between 10 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, according to police.
During one two-and-a-half hour-hour period, 25 people were shot in five multi-injury shootings. One paramedic described Saturday evening into Sunday morning as “a war zone.”
“We know that some of these incidents were targeted and are related to gang conflicts in those areas,” said Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller at a press conference Sunday afternoon.
It’s good that their Police Chief is finally willing to stand in front of reporters and admit that they’ve got a gang problem, but that doesn’t do anything to address the underlying issues. If you have 25 people being shot in a little over two hours we’re talking about a violence rate that might not be matched in a war zone. Also, reporters in the area have interviewed witnesses and family members of some of the victims and learned that the gangs appear to have little or no fear of law enforcement. One reported that a shooter shot a teenager in broad daylight and then simply walked away.
The witness was very specific about the shooter walking away. He didn’t throw away his gun. He didn’t run. He didn’t try to hide or flee. He simply walked off as if he’d just come back from picking up groceries. If the gangs have no fear of the police, then the rule of law has simply broken down.
One local pastor described it as genocide.
“We have such a genocide in our community, it’s driving me absolutely bonkers,” said Pastor Reshorna Fitzpatrick of Stone Temple Baptist Church. “I don’t want to do any marches. I just want people to cooperate and let kids live.”
While that may be a bit of an extreme description, the pastor is touching on the reason that this problem doesn’t receive the same level of attention or critical resources as some other shootings in the country. This is, for the most part, black people shooting black people. That means that it’s a “local news story” for CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times. There’s no political benefit in talking about it. That needs to change, because it’s currently safer to spend a weekend in Allepo than on the south side of Chitown.