The violence in Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel is rapidly spiraling out of control. Last weekend, July 4th, Chicago suffered 82 shootings leading to 14 deaths reaffirming the city’s new nickname “Chiraq” – a combination of Chicago and Iraq. It was not the first holiday this year to be drenched in blood, Easter saw 45 shootings leading to nine deaths.
Many of those shot were teenagers involved in gang warfare and five of the shootings were by Chicago Police who killed a 14 and 16 year old that reportedly refused to drop their guns. The 85 shootings are an increase from the same time last year and there are no signs that the violence won’t continue to accelerate.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said “It’s groundhog day here in Chicago again.”
McCarthy said in a press conference today that the department had deployed “hundreds” more officers over the weekend in anticipation of holiday violence. “The results were a lot of shootings and a lot of murders unfortunately,” he said. “Yesterday was the day that really blew it up for us in our strategy.”
“It all comes down to these guns: there’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out,” McCarthy said. Mayor Rahm Emanuel put out a statement Monday afternoon calling the violence “simply unacceptable” and said that it “points out that we still have work to do”.
Hundreds more police on the street results in more shootings? Mayor Emanuel truly is exceptional. Unfortunately, it also seems clear Rahm has no viable plan to turn the violence around as one of America’ major cities languishes in violence and chaos.