There were 22 shootings in Chicago over Christmas weekend, including two that were fatal.
Murders in the city went up five percent in 2021.
One of the shootings was of an 11-year-old boy who was shot in the leg inside an apartment in Jefferson Park on Christmas Eve.
“Chicago already has more than 800 homicide deaths in 2021, the most violent year in a quarter century, according to autopsy records from the Cook County medical examiner’s office,” local station WBEZ reported on December 16.
The report noted, “the homicides, most carried out with guns, began to surge in the spring of 2020 after the pandemic’s arrival. The violence intensified after George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police. And it has not let up.”
Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to help the city curb the surge in violent crime.
“I know people are scared,” Lightfoot said during a press conference last Monday.
“The federal government remains uniquely qualified to help address the scourge of gun violence,” Lightfoot added. “We need these additional resources well in advance of next summer.”
“The city has also been plagued with theft crimes this year, spiking by 20% when compared to 2020, and criminal sexual assaults that have spiked by 29% in 2021,” Fox News reports.
Chicago police Supt. David Brown is urging people not to call for tough on crime policies over the surge of violence.
“The diagnosis of what has happened over the last two years is how we get the right prescription,” Brown said at a news conference earlier this month.
“Many people just jump right to the conclusion we need to re-implement mass incarceration, which failed — just wasn’t the right prescription for what was happening with the crack cocaine epidemic,” Brown added.
Andrew Papachristos, a Northwestern University sociologist who studies gun violence, told WBEZ that COVID shutdowns are largelt to blame.
“COVID shut down the things that keep most communities safe — parks, schools, recreational sports, employment,” Papachristos said.
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