In August, Chicago saw its most fatal month in decades, with more than 90 murders and over 470 gunshot victims.
Superintendent Johnson, of the Chicago Police Department, repeated a statement he’s made in past tragic murders and fatal violence in the city. He said that it is only a small handful of repeat offenders committing many of the murders and violent crimes throughout Chicago. Chicago PD keeps what they call their “strategic subject list” when investigating shootings and homicides.
“Most of our violence is driven by 1,400 individuals in this city. So until we hold these repeat gun offenders accountable for their actions, we’re going to continue to see this violence.”
Chicago police said that arrests for unlawful firearms, fatal shootings and homicide increased since last year. The department removed over 200 criminals from the community in August, and they expect their custom list to help them detain many more.
Johnson spoke to ABC7 News This Morning about Chicago PD’s efforts regarding the recent increase in murders and fatal shootings.
“There are more murders, but the numbers of arrests that we’ve made pertain to gun offenses just shows you that the men and women of the CPD are out there engaging these folks. We’ve recovered one illegal handgun for every hour of the year.”
The increased number of murders and fatal crimes prompted Reverend Michael Pfleger to organize and lead a march for peace and a meeting to fight violence. During the march, he addressed Governor Rauner, asking him to issue a state of emergency for Chicago. He believes that it would make more funds available for the Chicago PD.
He turned the American flag that waves at his church upside down as a distress signal. He also took a gallon of a red, fake blood substance and wrote “SOS,” to illustrate his point and emphasize the sense of urgency. He also promised that the march he led on Wednesday would not be his last activist effort to combat the increase in murders and fatal violence in Chicago, according to CBS Chicago.
“We shut down downtown when our kids get shot, and we shut down the South Side when our kids get shot, and you know what? It’s time all over this city to shut streets down.”
Chicago PD says that, while the majority of the recent murders took place in the West and South parts of the city, the rest of Chicago is less at risk. Murders in the other parts of the city do not occur as often.
Johnson said that laws regulating and restricting gun use and purchase are essential in preventing criminals from repeating crimes or adding to the rising tally for murders and fatal shootings.
“The police department is doing their part. Where we need help is holding these repeat gun offenders who are driving much of the violence — 1,400 individuals in the city of Chicago — that are driving all the gun violence in our city.”
Pfleger questioned decisions made by the president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. He chastised Dean Angelo Sr about the logic behind canceling plans for Labor Day overtime for Chicago police officers in this time of so many murders and fatal crimes.
“When the stupid federation of police president told police officers ‘don’t do any overtime’ to make some political point, go to hell. Go to hell, Angelo.”
Angelo defended himself against Pfleger’s wrath.
“I believe that the good priest should be more concerned with his flock than with the FOP.”
One of the most recent murders involved a local high school student on Monday. The senior died as a result of a fatal gunshot wound to the head. He was with friends that night, and Chicago police say the fatal shot was not intended for him, but for another person. He died just before his 17th birthday.
His mother, Sharita Galloway, spoke her grief and outrage.
“I felt his last heartbeat. I felt my baby’s last heartbeat because somebody wanted to get a gun and shoot!”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]