News and Commentary

Chicago Shootings Continue Amid Protests, Police Union Chief Now Asking Trump For Federal Help To Quell Violence
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 30: Police investigate the murder of a young man found shot to death in the back seat of a bullet-riddled car on June 30, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 300 people have been killed and more than 1700 wounded by gunfire in Chicago this year. On June 1, a task force was formed by the Chicago police, Illinois state police and the ATF to combat the gun violence in the city. ATF has formed similar task forces on a temporary basis to fight regional spikes in gun violence. Chicago's task force is the only one in the nation formed with the idea to be permanent. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago’s string of violence continued this weekend, with nearly 50 people shot and 7 killed, even as Black Lives Matter protests focused on felling “controversial” city statues, including one of Christopher Columbus.

A pregnant woman and a 5-month-old baby were among last week’s shooting victims.

Although Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot fired back at the Trump administration on Friday, after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referred to Lightfoot as a “derelict mayor” in a press briefing, at least one city official — the head of the Chicago police union — says he is reaching out to the White House for help quelling the violence.

“Seven people have been killed and 43 others, including seven teenage boys, have been wounded in shootings across Chicago so far this weekend,” according to ABC 7 Chicago.

The outlet added that several of the shootings happened outside of the typical south and west side neighborhoods that see a majority of the city’s gang violence. Two people — a man and a woman — were shot in the city’s “Loop” central business district, not far from the city’s iconic Marshall Fields building. The man, who was shot in the neck, later died. Neither victim was willing to provide information to officers about the shooting.

Even as protests roiled the city Friday night, targeting a statue of Christopher Columbus in the city’s Grant Park, shootings were already at a record high for the weekend, easily surpassing numbers set during the same weekend in 2019 and earlier. Thursday night, a 5-month-old baby was shot in an altercation in a neighborhood just north and west of downtown, according to WGN TV, and Friday evening, a pregnant woman was shot on the city’s south side.

The protests — self-described “Black Lives Matter” and pro-Native American demonstrations — left more than a dozen Chicago police officers injured and resulted in 18 arrests Friday night.

Saturday night Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president John Catanzara, posted an open letter to federal authorities on the organization’s website, begging for help.

“Mayor Lightfoot has proved to be a complete failure who is either unwilling or unable to maintain law and order here,” Catanzara wrote. “I would be willing to sit down anytime and discuss ideas about how we can bring civility back to the streets of Chicago. These politicians are failing the good men and women of this city and the police department.”

Lightfoot will not be joining Catanzara’s call for assistance, though. After firing back at McEnany, calling her a “Karen,” she issued a statement excoriating the Trump administration for its lack of attention to gun control, which she’s blamed for the city’s spike in violence.

“If you really wanted to help the city, let’s start with the fact that you would weigh in, Mr. President, on common sense… gun reform,” Lightfoot said. “It makes no sense that people from Chicago can go across the border to Indiana and buy military-grade weapons and bring them back to our city and kill our children.”

The gun laws have not changed since the city’s last spike in violence, in 2016.

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