News and Commentary

Chicago Violence Spikes Over The Weekend Leaving 8 Dead, 33 Wounded
Chicago police officers investigate an officer-involved shooting outside the department's 25th district station on July 30, 2020.
Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Chicago, which has seen gun violence drop precipitously over the last several months from record highs over the summer, saw a spike in violence over the weekend, including a “mass shooting” at a house party that left half a dozen people wounded.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that “six people were killed and at least 33 others wounded in shootings across Chicago this weekend,” adding that the spike was “twice as deadly as last weekend” when three people were killed and 18 left wounded in a series of attacks across the city’s south and west sides.

The deadliest incident took place on the city’s south side, at a house party that likely also violated the city’s coronavirus restrictions.

“Early Saturday, a half dozen people wounded in a single attack at a South Side party,” the Sun-Times notes. “The victims were holding an after-hours party at Get Glammed Beauty Bar, 8936 S. Cottage Grove, when a person walked in about 12:25 a.m. and started shooting, police said. A woman and five men were wounded — one of them seriously — before the gunman took off, police said.”

Chicago police have yet to make an arrest in the incident.

Last weekend was Chicago’s most violent since Thanksgiving — the most violent weekend since the summer. ” At least 42 people were shot this Thanksgiving holiday weekend between Wednesday night and Monday morning; 11 of them were killed,” Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported at the time.

So far, nearly 700 people have been shot and killed in the city in 2020 — the most since 2015 and 2016, when the city was suffering through an extended gang war — and there is still one weekend to go this year. In 2019, the city saw just 519 murders. Overall, the city is on pace to meet or exceed the 2016 homicide totals, with most of the murders racked up during the summer months,

A number of factors are likely to blame. The novel coronavirus, which kept much of the United States under lockdown for the first months of the year, gave way to greater violence across the country. Combined with racial unrest that flared over the summer, nearly all major American cities saw a spike in homicides, Chicago included.

The city is also suffering under a change in police leadership and a number of new police policies, authored several years ago but taking effect just now. The Chicago States Attorney’s office also changed their bail policies, and a number of experts contend that gun offenders, able to pay their bail quickly or skate off without bail, are returning to the streets in record time.

Chicago law enforcement may have a difficult time, even as winter weather drives most people indoors. As The Daily Wire reported last week, the Chicago Police Department — and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — are both under renewed scrutiny after police body-cam footage of a mistaken raid surfaced over the city’s objections. Lightfoot apologized for the incident in a speech late last week, but the city’s top attorney resigned over the weekend and changes are likely to come to the police department as well.

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