Memorial Day weekend is a time when we traditionally mourn the fallen, but that’s specific to the Honored Dead we have lost in our nation’s various wars and military service. Residents of Chicago unfortunately encountered additional reasons to mourn this weekend, though. A lot of reasons. Eight people were killed and more than two dozen others injured in a spate of violence which was even worse than the same weekend last year. And residents are being left with a lot of questions. (Fox News)
Memorial Day weekend proved even bloodier than last year in Chicago.
At least eight people were killed and 25 others wounded in shootings across the city since midnight Friday, police told WLS. Last year, over the entire weekend of the unofficial start of summer, seven people were killed and 45 others were hurt.
The victims, WLS reported, include China Marie Lyons-Upshaw, who was shot in the chest while playing with a gun; Bobbieana Lyons, 20, a young mother shot and killed on her doorstep while celebrating her 2-year-old’s birthday; and a 31-year-old man shot twice in the chest and once in the head after he got into a fight with another man.
In other cities like Baltimore with serious gang violence, this is sadly typical timing. Criminal activity tones down a bit during harsh weather and then ramps back up with the start of the summer season. But the timing of this particularly bloody weekend plays into an ongoing debate between the Chicago PD and the Mayor’s office. Rahm Emanuel has recently been accused by his own police force of turning his back on the cops and not supporting their efforts to curb the bloodshed. Even the President weighed in on that battle shortly before the holiday weekend.
Chicago Police have every right to legally protest against the mayor and an administration that just won’t let them do their job. The killings are at a record pace and tough police work, which Chicago will not allow, would bring things back to order fast…the killings must stop!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2018
Emanuel is in the process of implementing a consent decree with the federal government which will place the city’s police department largely under the control and supervision of a federal court. To say that the cops are unhappy with this turn of events is an understatement.
As of the previous Sunday, May 20th, Chicago had seen 187 murders. That was actually 43 lower than the same time last year, but this weekend will see them catching up to the previous curve. The data compiled by the Chicago Tribune at that link also reveals that most of these killings affect minorities and the economically disadvantaged the most. The vast majority of murder victims are black males between the ages of 16 and 30. The second highest category of victims by demographics is Hispanics.
These numbers are particularly depressing because Chicago had actually recorded a more than 22% reduction in homicides over the first four months of the year as compared to 2017. But the city also suffered a brutal winter with one of the coldest and snowiest Aprils in recent memory. That apparently kept a lot of the gang members indoors, but they seem to be making up for lost time now.
The real question is, what does Rahm Emanuel propose to do about it? If they start overtaking Baltimore in per capita killings again, even the loyal Democrats who keep Emanuel in office may begin looking at other options.