Despite a $1.7 billion police budget and strict gun laws, Chicago ended the weekend with 34 people shot and five dead, including one young child, bringing the Windy City’s 2022 death toll to 520.
“We’ve seen children shot across this city in ridiculous numbers,” Chicago Police Deputy Chief Larry Snelling said, according to Fox News. “When did we become a society where we stop caring about the children?”
Mateo Zastro was shot in the head during a road rage incident on Friday, according to police. The 3-year-old was riding in the back of his mother’s car when she attempted to flee from an aggressive driver. She made it two blocks before the passenger in the second vehicle began firing at her car, leaving Mateo dead and nearby residences riddled with bullets.
“That mother is still grieving,” said community activist Andrew Holmes. “All she’s doing is clutching onto two dinosaurs, and this was the baby’s favorite toy.”
Another child was injured on the way to church on Sunday. A man was spotted going through the family’s car and when confronted began firing a gun in their direction. The unidentified 7-year-old was shot in the leg and is expected to recover.
While the suspect in the Sunday shooting has been apprehended, Zastro’s killers are at large.
“We will not rest until those responsible for this senseless and cowardly act of violence are brought to justice,” said Chicago Police Department Commander Bryan Spreyne.
But that is little solace, considering less than 40 percent of murder cases are solved in Chicago and only half of the “solved” cases led to charges in 2021, according to reporting by the Chicago Sun-Times.
In a separate incident Sunday morning, an officer-involved shooting left a suspect dead in the Old Town neighborhood. Officers were allegedly alerted by a member of the public that a man pointed a gun at them. Police then located the suspect and attempted to apprehend him but he fled. Officers located him a second time, resulting in the officer-involved shooting, according to Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown.
“They try and detain this person … He takes off running. There is a foot chase … He escapes ….” Brown said Sunday. “And, they see him a second time. One of the officers gets out. One of the two officers gets out of the car and tries to confront again, take him into custody … The officer then fires his weapon, striking the offender and the offender is deceased.”
Last weekend, the city recorded seven fatal shootings and 29 people injured in shootings and with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s election year budget proposing increased funding for abortion and homelessness by $13 million, the same tune as public safety, the Illinois city won’t see relief under its current liberal policies.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) referred to Chicago “as the world’s largest outdoor shooting range,” during a Senate hearing in April. Kennedy grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland about the use of federal funding to investigate law enforcement officers’ use-of-force incidents against rioters rather than taking a tougher stance against criminals in Democrat-led cities whose crime rates have skyrocketed.
“We’re going backwards here on crime, general,” the senator informed Garland. “You’re one of the country’s chief law enforcement officials, maybe the chief, and what you say matters. And, suppose, here’s what I’m asking: let’s take Chicago, where you haven’t, we haven’t made any inroads in stopping the killing. Chicago is now the world’s largest outdoor shooting range. We know that a lot of the shootings come from gangs.”
“Why wouldn’t you want to call the police chief and the mayor in Chicago and say, ‘Look, you know who these gang members are,” Kennedy continued. “‘When you have reasonable suspicion, under Terry v. Ohio – an objective standard, more than just a hunch – why don’t you aggressively stop, question, and frisk these gang members?’ You’ll get drugs off the street. You’ll get guns off the street. And, you’ll get a lot of gang members off the street and you’ll stop people killing each other.”
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