We know of two cities already — Baltimore and Washington, D.C. — where the number of homicides so far this year has already surpassed the number committed in all of 2014. Police are already dreading the long weekend in Chicago, where this week they recorded nine people shot and killed in one day, including an 11-year-old who was shot by a relative while the two were inside playing with a gun.
The Chicago Tribune today examined the rise in homicides and found explanations ranging from increased gang activity to lack of opportunities.
In an interview, Robert Tracy, the department’s chief of crime control strategies, said that more than ever petty disagreements and interpersonal conflicts are too often being settled by gunfire.
“We have a very big gang problem in the city of Chicago, and at the same time we have too many people carrying illegal guns without many consequences,” said Tracy, picking up on a favorite theme of Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who blames the proliferation of guns and lax gun laws for much of the violence.
Tracy Siska, executive director of the Chicago Justice Project, an independent nonprofit research group, said the reasons for the violence are much broader than policing and gun laws. He said a lack of investment in struggling neighborhoods plays an important part.
“Chicago has an endemic problem with poverty and a high concentration of segregation,” Siska said. “The persistent problems with violence are rooted in poverty, lack of education and lack of opportunities. The city has abandoned some neighborhoods and doesn’t care what happens in some communities.”
The number of homicides in Chicago caught the eye of Laura Ingraham.
Al Sharpton will be there tomorrow to preach a special message.
The last we saw #BlackLivesMatter in Chicago, they were chasing Emanuel out the back exit of his budget meeting under police escort.