The latest wave of violent crime has hit Chicago, Illinois, as dozens of shootings made parts of the Windy City resemble a war zone.
Between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, at least 70 individuals were shot — including 12 fatalities.
“Releasing these people back into the community”
The weekend’s bloodshed followed a week marked by increased gun violence and represented an increase over the previous weekend’s tragic toll of 56 shooting victims and 11 deaths.
WLS reported that Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown defended the work his officers were doing to address the incessant violence, blaming local leaders and the courts for lax enforcement of existing laws.
“We are arresting violent offenders, the courts are releasing these people back into the community,” he said during a press conference on Monday. “We’re not obviously going to quit. We are dedicated and committed.”
Brown went on to answer his own question regarding what cops could do to address the crime wave.
“They can continue to be brave and courageous, committed and dedicated in arresting violent offenders,” he said. “My question to you is what the courts can do different rather than release violent people back to these communities to create an environment of lawlessness.”
“It happens everywhere, but Chicago is the worst”
As for his department, Brown declared that Chicago officers are arresting violent offenders “at the highest level” in the agency’s history.
Local reporters have noted that much of the violence has been concentrated in specific areas of the city.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, there was at least one shooting over the weekend in 18 of Chicago’s 22 police districts. More than half of all victims were shot in just four particularly violent districts, however — two on the south side and two on the west side.
Thus far in 2021, the city has endured 426 homicides. Although that figure is down slightly over the 432 recorded at the same point last year, it is up by roughly 48% when compared to 2019.
At least 212 of those killed this year were under 17, according to WFLD. The mother of an infant shot and killed by a stray bullet earlier this month declared: “It happens everywhere, but Chicago is the worst.”