Chicago law enforcement officials noted a 9 percent drop in crime, but they may have celebrated too soon.
In a statement released over the weekend, the city’s police department touted a reduction in violent crimes during the first five months of this year compared with the same timeframe last year. In a bit of irony, this weekend proved particularly violent in Chicago, where 52 people were shot and 8 were killed, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she plans to address this weekend’s violence with Chicago Police officials this week. “(I’m) bringing in the Superintendent, the Deputy Chief of Patrol, and any other commander whose district saw an uptick in violence over the weekend,” Lightfoot told reporters.
Prior to the violence, Ronald Westbrooks, Chicago Police spokesman, announced the reduction in violent crime.
Police released a statement on Saturday that outlined a reduction in murders (by 7 percent) and shootings (down 13 percent) from January 1 through May 31, compared with the same time period in 2018. There were 186 homicides through May 31 and this compares to 200 homicides during the first five months of last year.
Still, this weekend’s violence was a sobering reality for the city and the police department.
“The level of violence that we’ve seen across the city is just totally unacceptable,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
But the police department is fighting back. In April, police started a summer safety strategy to increase the number of officers in high traffic areas.
At the time, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said he thought the department was “well-prepared to keep the city safe this summer.”
After this weekend’s violence, Johnson released a statement, writing the department “can always do better but I believe that our officers work diligently to provide consistent and fair policing in all of our neighborhoods and our efforts are paying in dividends.”