As predicted, Chicago turned bloody over Memorial Day weekend

We talked about this over the weekend with at least the vague hope that things in Chicago might turn out better than predicted. The death toll, largely caused by gang violence, has been on the rise in the Windy City and the police were concerned that the three day weekend would set the stage for more of the same. Of particular concern was the recent trend of shootouts spilling over onto the expressways during rush hour traffic. But the cops had extra patrols out on the streets and were even putting choppers in the air to keep a lid on things.

Well… so much for that. By Sunday night the situation was already deteriorating. (Chicago Tribune)

At least 12 people were wounded Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning in South and West side shootings, following about two dozen other attacks during the Memorial Day weekend that has left four dead and four dozen wounded.

As of Sunday afternoon, the majority of the shootings have happened on the West Side within a half-mile of the Harrison District. Officials said Sunday that police would increase presence in the district because of the levels of shootings Friday and Saturday.

Despite ratcheting up enforcement efforts, by the close of Memorial Day the death toll rose further. (ABC local)

A source tells ABC7 unofficial, internal police department data has this year’s shootings surpassing the number during last year’s Memorial Day weekend.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the violence has to do with “too many guns and too many people willing to use them.”

That may be the reason for an unofficial tally that includes five people killed and 55 others hurt in shootings from 12:01 a.m. Friday until around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Those numbers do not include three highway shootings under Illinois State Police jurisdiction.

Eddie Johnson was only appointed last month as the new police superintendent. He was approved unanimously by the City Council in a procedural move which waived the normal vetting process and eliminated the standard procedure of having three finalists nominated for consideration. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been under fire for a series of police shootings and protests in the streets, and Johnson was appointed specifically with a mandate to “restore trust and repair relations with the community.” It was a choice which was under fire from community leaders before he was even sworn in, because Johnson was viewed as a “cop’s cop” from inside the system. (Crain’s Business)

The mayor’s pick, Eddie Johnson, is wholly unqualified to bring about the revolution in policing policies and practices that Chicago so desperately needs. If ever there was a time to not hire a rank-and-file cop’s cop from the patrol division—one who says he’s never witnessed a single incident of misconduct in his 27 years on the force—this is it.

The supreme irony of Johnson’s appointment, though, is that it comes just as Emanuel’s task force on accountability is calling for massive, dramatic, game-changing reform in the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald video.

Johnson’s appointment is the exact opposite of that.

If anyone was expecting Johnson to somehow turn things around on the streets of Chicago in under a month they were delusional. You’re asking an awful lot of one beat cop who came up through the ranks and is now supposed to defuse that powder keg. The Superintendent is telling the local press that there are “too many guns” out there, and he’s right. But he’s also well aware that those are rarely, if ever, the guns purchased legally by citizens complying with Chicago’s myriad gun control laws. He’s got a gang violence problem on his hands and that’s not going to go away until their control of the streets is ended.

Good luck with that, Superintendent Johnson. I don’t envy you the job you’ve taken on.

Police Line