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The Fourth of July holiday in Chicago was marred by another uptick in violence, as scores of people were shot and more than a dozen killed on Saturday.
Worse, nine of the 13 victims who were killed by gunfire were minors, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. More than 67 wounded by gunfire.
One of the minors killed was a 7-year-old girl who has been identified by her family as Natalie Wallace. She was playing outside her grandmother’s residence during an Independence Day party in the Austin neighborhood when a white vehicle pulled up and three men exited and began firing indiscriminately, FOX32 reported.
“Tonight, a 7-year-old girl in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote on Twitter. “We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.”
As families gather to commemorate the founding of our nation, we must ask ourselves: is this who we are as a city or as a country? We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 5, 2020
It’s not clear what metrics Lightfoot is using to claim that shootings are “slowing.” According to the most recent statistics, there was a 75-percent increase in shootings in June compared to June 2019, with a 78-percent spike in the murder rate.
For her part, Lightfoot hedged when asked why violence continues to remain hight before blaming it on “guns.”
“That’s a complicated question,” she said, according to WGN-9. “We have way too many guns on the streets.”
Chicago Police Police Supt. David Brown announced last week ahead of the Fourth of July weekend that he would be adding some 1,200 officers to patrol the city between Thursday and Sunday, but that doesn’t seem to have made much difference.
That said, gun homicides and violence have been spiking all year. Over the Father’s Day weekend last month, for instance, more than 100 people were shot.
And in late May, 85 people were shot, with 24 killed in the worst one-day period in 60 years in the city.
“We’ve never seen anything like it at all,” Max Kapustin, senior research director at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, told the Sun-Times May 31. “I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before.”
Prior, the deadliest day in Chicago occurred on Aug. 4, 1991, when 13 people were fatally gunned down.
Rev. Michael Pfleger, the leader of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham and a longtime advocate against gun violence, said it was “open season” in his neighborhood as well as others on Chicago’s South and West sides.
“On Saturday and particularly Sunday, I heard people saying all over, ‘Hey, there’s no police anywhere, police ain’t doing nothing,’” Pfleger said.
“I sat and watched a store looted for over an hour,” he noted further, the Sun-Times reported. “No police came. I got in my car and drove around to some other places getting looted [and] didn’t see police anywhere.”
By far, most of the victims — and the shooters — are black. But no one with the Black Lives Matter organization has been openly critical of Lightfoot or Chicago Police officials for failing to curb the violence.
Tio Hardiman, the executive director for Violence Interrupters, appeared late last month on Fox News to call out the BLM movement for being absent in Chicago and silent about the rising tide of black-on-black violence.
(Source: Fox News)
“It makes no sense to me if we continue to stand up against the system, but we will not stand up in our own neighborhood,” he told host Martha MacCallum.
“I’m one of the guys that was on the frontline when it came down to standing up against police brutality and excessive force,” he added. “And I understand where Black Lives Matter, what they’re attempting to do. I understand that.
“But at the same time, we need help to do our best to stop gun violence in Chicago. The entire nation should be outraged when a three-year-old is executed on the streets of Chicago and a 13-year-old young girl was killed on the west side [of] Chicago as well,” he said.
“Black Lives Matter, they’re raising millions and millions of dollars,” Hardiman continued. “We should have a meeting and see how we can actually work together in order to stem the tide of gun violence in the inner city.”
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