Chicago is suffering through its bloodiest summer in decades. The police superintendent said Tuesday he’s doing all he can to fight gang violence. But he says “It’s not a police issue, it’s a society issue.
The 65 people shot in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend included a, shot in the abdomen; a pastor, shot in the face; an 80-year old man shot in the head; as well as several teenagers.
The weekend was so bloody it surpassed the earlier summer holiday carnage on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
The victims were found on sidewalks, in driveways, on street corners and in city parks.
“I just basically saw a guy drive up in a nice car, and he jumped out and started shooting towards the park. And once he finished he took off,” said Pat, an eyewitness who declined to give her last name.
In other parts of town, a victim was murdered as he was driving. Another as he walked his dog.
“I’m frustrated. The city should be frustrated,” said police superintendent Eddie Johnson. “And frustrated that the people who commit these crimes just don’t care who their actions effect.”
Johnson said there was a surge in violence from Sunday to Tuesday morning because of youthful gang reprisals for petty insults or juvenile arguments. Most offenders this year have been between 15 and 24 years old.
Johnson said his officers need help.
“We need the people in the community to do the right thing. Because as long as they stay silent, then the people committing these acts feel empowered to continue doing them,” Johnson said.
Repeat offenders continue to be a huge problem in Chicago. Over the weekend, police made 77 arrests in an offensive against gang members. Fifty-seven of those arrested were convicted felons, and 10 were on parole.