Memorial Day Weekend Gun Violence Marks Start Of Bloody Chicago Summer (VIDEO)
Memorial Day Weekend Offered A Glimpse Into A Potentially Deadly Summer of Gun Violence In Chicago
The sick and twisted Chicago gun violence culture continued to claim victims over the Memorial Day Weekend which marked the beginning of a long, hot, deadly summer to come. According to the Chicago Tribune, 69 people were shot in the city over Memorial Day weekend, with 6 deaths in total. Although that is a 50 percent decrease in murders over last year, it is an increase of 25 more people being shot. In comparison, New York City saw just 16 shootings and 1 death over the holiday weekend.
As the Guardian reports, a spike in crime typically occurs around Memorial Day thanks to warmer weather and carries on throughout the summer. Memorial Day weekend is seen as an “unofficial indicator of the city’s gun violence landscape.”
Indications so far are that this is going to be a brutal year. Last year by this time 957 people had been shot, but in 2016 there has already been significant rise to 1,500 victims. These numbers have many upset, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who called the situation “unacceptable” and spoke out against gun violence as the weekend began to kick off.
“If we all come together and reclaim our streets, reclaim our parks, there’s no room for the gangbangers…There’s a small percentage creating an overabundance of the gun violence. The Police Department knows who you are. They know where you live. And they know what you’re doing.”
Although there was an increase in police presence throughout the city for the holiday weekend, it didn’t seem to stop the violence from happening. Tio Bardiman, a community activist, spoke to NBC 5 about what has to be done to get Chicago gun violence under control.
“The police cannot stop the killings in the Chicagoland area and it’s not their fault. The community needs to organize in high numbers and work with these guys on street corners in an aggressive way.”
A frustrated Rev. Corey Brooks who is a pastor in the highly effected, predominantly African-American South Side of Chicago spoke to the New York Times about the problem of gun violence that is plaguing the city.
“If something doesn’t change, if we don’t get jobs for these kids, if we don’t change the economic situation, I’m worried that we could be looking at a blood bath. If something doesn’t happen, I fear that we’re potentially looking at one of the worst summers we’ve ever had.”
Meanwhile, a citizen named Roger Elges wrote a passionate letter to the editor that was printed in the Chicago Tribune on May 26. In it, he called on his fellow citizens of Chicago to take positive action to try and curb the seemingly out of control violence.
“…[S]o if you own a gun, make sure that weapon is stored safely beyond the reach of any child or troubled person. If you have a gun you don’t want anymore, turn that weapon over to the police. If you operate a business, hire one extra teen this summer to help keep him or her out of trouble. If you’re a parent, spend just one extra hour each week with your children and encourage them to stay on the right path. Help the police prevent or solve a crime. Join, support or start an organization attempting to reduce the violence. Who knows, maybe the one very small thing you do will stop a shooting or even save someone’s life.”
Since writing that letter, the situation went from bad to worse for citizens of Chicago.
Feature image by Scott Olson/Getty Images
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Chris Hearn is an ageing freelance writer located in wintery Winnipeg. He is a stay-at-home-parent, amateur stand-up comedian, and a guy with a lot of opinions, much to everyone’s dismay.