Mother’s Day weekend hasn’t exactly been how it’s supposed to in Chicago. The city just experienced its most violent weekend in seven months. An analysis by the Chicago Tribune concluded that more than 50 people were shot between Friday afternoon and early Monday. This has been the most violent weekend in Chicago since last September.
In incidents that spread across the city of Chicago, from Roseland in the south to West Rogers Park in the north, 51 people were shot, 8 of them fatally. 43 are wounded and are currently receiving medical supervision. Advocacy groups had gathered earlier requesting a peaceful Mother’s Day weekend. But apparently those calls were unanswered. At least 1225 people have been shot in Chicago so far in 2016. The violence is rapidly on the rise and this has effectively made Chicago one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Chicago has a history of violence, some as terrifying as the St. Valentine’s day massacre, when Al Capone slaughtered 7 mob associates. But that was in the prohibition era, during the 30s! We’re almost a century through, but the City is no close to being as safe as one would expect it to be. Chicago police force continues to struggle in coping with the alarming rates of homicides.
Among the dead is 16 year old Nathan Hicks, who was shot in the chest as he was standing on a sidewalk in East Garfield Park. “For a mother to wake up and find out that her son is dead on Mother’s Day. You know that is very disturbing. It hurts. It’s painful,” said Andrew Holmes, a community activist.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson address the issue during an unrelated news conference on Monday calling the current number of gun related violence happening in the city, “completely unacceptable”. There have been no arrests made so far regarding the shootings this weekend. Perhaps this demonstrate what superintendent Johnson meant when he used the phrase “an uphill battle” to describe the challenge currently facing the police force. But he was quick to highlight that most of the victims and the offenders participating in these acts of violence are in the Police Department’s so called “Strategic Subject List”, a list that consists of around 1300 people believed to be most prone to violence either as a victim or an offender.
“About 78 percent of the homicide victims and about 84 percent of the nonfatal shooting victims between Friday afternoon and early Monday were on the (Strategic Subject) List.”
“Oftentimes, they have gang affiliations, and many have had previous arrests and convictions.”
Most of this weekend’s shootings took place in predominantly black neighborhoods. Stats likes these appear to confirm the result of a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the New York Times that shows a widening disparity in how whites and blacks in Chicago view the level of safety in their neighborhoods. In the poll more than 41 percent of black respondents had reported as feeling “not safe at all” or “not too safe” compared to 17 percent by white respondents. When asked how likely a young person in their neighborhood were likely to be the victim of crime, a staggering 49 percent of black respondents replied “very likely” compared to the 19 percent by white respondents. Further more 44 percent of black respondents felt that their neighborhood wasn’t a safe place to raise children in contrast to only 16 percent of white respondents who felt the same.
[Photo by : Scott Olson/Getty Images]