This past Memorial Day weekend was the first big test for Chicago under new mayor Lori Lightfoot, and judging by the number of shooting victims over the three-day weekend, the Windy City’s got some work to do.
Shootings in the Chicagoland area were slightly up from the 39 people who were shot on Memorial Day in 2018. Seven of those 39 people were killed as a result of being shot.
This year 43 people were shot in Chicago, with seven dying from their wounds. The slight rise in victims comes despite the weekend's inclement weather and an extra 1,200 officers reportedly patrolling the streets.
While the shooting numbers were slightly up this year from last year, the Chicago Tribune reported that Memorial Day weekend shootings are way down from both 2016 (71 people shot, six fatally) and 2017 (45 people shot, seven fatally).
Some credit should be given to the new mayor as she rode along with officers on the South Side of Chicago on Saturday. Lightfoot knew there was a problem, but experiencing it first hand was an eye-opener.
“I certainly knew that before, but to see it graphically depicted is quite shocking and says that we’ve got a long way to go as a city," Lightfoot told reporters on Monday. “This is not a law enforcement-only challenge. It’s a challenge for all of us in city government. It’s a challenge for us in communities to dig down deeper and ask ourselves what we can do to step up to stem the violence.”
For a brief breakdown of this past weekend's violence, read below:
On Saturday, 13 people were shot and two of them were killed: 43-year-old Tito Wade, who was shot in the 400 block of West 77th Street in the South Side’s Greater Grand Crossing community, and 31-year-old Michael Brown, shot in the 100 block of West 109th Place in the Roseland community on the Far South Side.
Sunday saw the worst of the weekend violence, with 18 people shot. Eight of them were wounded in two shootings just five hours apart on the same block on the Near West Side.
“That is just an unacceptable state of affairs,” Lightfoot also said.
It certainly is, and while the shooting numbers remain “unacceptable,” it’s a little too early to judge the affect that Lightfoot is having on the city.