Even by Chicago standards, this was a bad weekend. Various outlets have various tallies. Fox News reports 54 were shot. CNN puts the number at 58. But ABC 7 in Chicago says 59 were shot and six were killed, including two teenagers:
Since 5 p.m. Friday, a total of 59 people were shot, leaving six killed and 53 wounded.
In the latest incident, two teenagers who had been reported missing were found shot to death in a field on the Far South Side.
The two teenagers, just 16 and 17 year old, were found dead at about 11:57 p.m. in a field on East 131st Street between Eberhart and Rhodes avenues after being reported missing days ago…
Chicago police held a Monday morning news conference discussing another violent weekend and the need for more community involvement.
“These individuals that keep pulling these triggers just feel like they can continue to do it because they are getting away with it,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
As for the shooters feeling they can get away with it, the ABC 7 article suggests that may be the case again this weekend:
The first fatal shooting occurred Saturday night in the Englewood neighborhood…
No one is in custody…
Sunday, a 19-year-old man who was fatally shot at about 3:30 p.m. while leaning against a parked vehicle in the 4000-block of South Calumet, police said…
No one was in custody and Area Central detectives are investigating.
What’s really disturbing is that this weekend’s carnage comes just a couple weeks after a fresh attempt to get a handle on the violence. Two weeks ago, Jazz wrote about an especially bloody weekend in which 66 people were shot and 12 were killed. After that, Chicago deployed an additional 600 cops onto the streets. From CNN:
Stung by the level of violence last weekend, Chicago officials pledged Tuesday to deploy more officers in neighborhoods that have seen a surge in shootings.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters an additional 430 officers are being put on street duty, with 200 more to be on patrol over the weekend.
It seems safe to say those extra uniforms didn’t make much difference at all. So what is it going to take?
It’s not really fair to blame the police when there are probably plenty of people who know who was involved in each of the shootings this weekend. In fact, that was the point Superintendent Johnson was making above, i.e. police need some help from the community if they’re going to take the killers off the streets. The problem is that the people who might know something won’t talk to police because a) they’ll get shot for being snitches or b) they plan to handle it themselves. Chicago is a city that lives in fear and it’s tough to ask regular people to put themselves into the line of fire, especially when police seem unable to stop the violence.
Back in 2016, I wrote about an excellent BBC video showing what it is really like for teenagers living in Chicago. As I noted at the time, the pervasive theme was fear. Everyone was afraid of being shot or killed so everyone was ready to shoot back. But there was also a certain dark glamour to the gangster lifestyle, which never seems very far from the violence itself. Is it reflecting it or encouraging it. It’s actually hard to tell. Here’s the clip again in case you missed it.