Shockingly, or perhaps not so-, Chicago just witnessed its deadliest Memorial Day weekend since 2015 despite a coronavirus stay-at-home order. As one crime analyst observed, “They (gangs) are not particularly deterred by the risks of being out there,” as cited in ABC. “Of all the things they are likely to be worried about COVID is way down the list.”
The long warm weather weekend (crimes tend to spike over hot weather holiday weekends) saw a total of 49 people shot from Friday afternoon through Monday evening. Ten among these were killed.
Included were shootings that even occurred midday and at frequented intersections, including a 15-year old boy shot and left in critical condition after getting into an argument with the driver of an SUV on Saturday morning. In another instance, a teenage girl was grazed in the leg as shots range out nearby.
Typically Chicago police hit the streets Memorial Day weekend with an extra 1,000 officers in addition to their regular patrol numbers. This after last weekend included 38 total shootings, including six people killed in gun violence throughout the city.
"The violence throughout the city on Memorial Day weekend was nothing short of alarming,” new Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday.
It's part of a broader national rise in violent crime observed, surprisingly enough, across three major US cities since the start of the year - and despite pandemic-induced local and state-wide lockdowns:
According to Chicago police crime statistics posted online, between Jan. 1 and May 24, the nation's third-largest city had 200 homicides, compared with 176 during the same period last year. The number of shootings climbed from 679 to 826. However, the number of criminal sexual assaults, burglaries and thefts all fell by double digits.
The statistics largely mirror what police in Los Angeles and New York have reported. In both cities, the number of homicides has increased so far this year while the number of sexual assaults has fallen.
TOTAL CHAOS: Despite Shutdown, Chicago Sees 40 Shootings, 10 Murders, Deadliest Memorial Day in Years https://t.co/eUL6tPkfAv— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 26, 2020
Ahead of what's expected to be a major rise in violent crime in the coming warm months, consistent with historical trends, Chicago city agencies announced the establishment of a "Summer Operations Center" to stem the rising murder rate, according to city press releases.
And generally, when more Americans finally do come of lockdown no doubt ready with a 'live hard/party hard' mentality, as some places are already seeing, there's likely to be a major spike in violent crime.