The Chicago Police Department announced late last week that it would deploy 600 additional officers to the violence-ridden south and west sides of the city this weekend, but the wave of shootings continued, leaving at least 22 wounded by Sunday morning.
Last weekend, 71 people were shot in the city — and 12 died — in what Chicago’s police brass described as gang-related violence. The city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and police chief, Eddie Johnson, seemed helpless in the face of a crime wave that has made headlines across the country, and the city admitted that it was having difficulty getting a handle on gun violence, particularly in three key neighborhoods on the city’s south and west sides.
On Friday, Johnson announced that the CPD would deploy 400 more officers to target neighborhoods on weekdays and 600 more officers on weekends in an attempt to stem the bloodbath. CPD also announced plans to more closely monitor unauthorized “block parties”; at least 11 of the 71 people shot last weekend were participating in a “large outdoor unsanctioned gathering.”
But by Sunday morning, 22 people had been shot in the city and at least two were dead. It’s a far cry from the 71 shot last weekend, but still significant, particularly given Chicago’s position in the national spotlight.
Emanuel will likely celebrate the drop as a victory against crime, but Chicago’s communities are no less concerned this weekend than last. It will be weeks before Chicago residents will know whether the tide of violence has receded.