A Chicago Police Department “comprehensive review” of its holiday performance is underway in the aftermath of an unexpected surge in gun violence over the Independence Day weekend, the Chicago Tribune reports.
At least 102 people were shot—15 of them fatally—during the four-day period. This follows a decrease in shootings over the Memorial Day weekend, when 46 people were shot. It shatters hopes that the city has reached a turning point in its battle to reduce gun violence.
“The mood here is frustration,” chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, according to The Tribune.
Most of the shootings occurred Monday night, over a six-hour period, CBC News Chicago reported. Many of the incidents stemmed from alcohol-related petty disputes, police Deputy Chief Fred Waller added.
Still, Guglielmi called the upsurge “perplexing,” The Tribune said.
“We deployed some very successful tactics over the Memorial Day weekend,” the police spokesman said, adding that those same tactics failed over the long Independence Day holiday.
Police officials deployed an extra 1,300 police officers and used the ShotSpotter system, which detects audio of gunfire and pinpoints the source. They suspect that firecrackers may have foiled the technology.
CBS said police officials blame Chicago’s high rate of gun violence on “gangs and guns,” but many African-American elected officials and activists point to a major contributing factor: a lack of jobs.
“Drugs in, guns in, jobs out,” commented the Rev. Jesse Jackson, according to CBS. “More died on these streets since Friday than in Afghanistan or Iraq.”
Cook County Board Commissioner Richard Boykin said Illinois continues to have the highest Black unemployment rate in the nation. He announced an empowerment tour of Chicago’s most violent communities.
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