Fourteen weekend slayings out of 102 people shot in Chicago pushes this year’s body count to 284, according to the Chicago Sun Times, which tracks murders in the Windy City, and 2020 isn’t even half over.
At the current rate, the city might see 600 murders by year’s end, and possibly more since summer just started, and the next three months are typically busy for homicide detectives.
According to the newspaper, it was the “highest number of gun violence victims in a single weekend this year,” once again blaming the tool rather than the perpetrators. No other form of homicide gets such a designation. Newspapers never discuss “knife violence” or “blunt object violence,” yet according to the FBI annual Uniform Crime Report, in any given year more people are stabbed, strangled or beaten to death with clubs, hammers, tire irons or other blunt instruments than are killed with rifles or shotguns.
This past weekend’s victims, the newspaper noted, included five minors. One of them was a 3-year-old toddler, killed when someone opened fire on the car his father was driving. The newspaper quoted an unidentified police source theorizing that the father was the target.
Perhaps not to skip a beat, the newspaper reported that Monday morning, two men ages 41 and 30, died in two separate shootings several minutes apart.
Back on June 10, the Chicago Tribune reported the number of murders this year exceeded the number last year and in 2018 at that time. There had been 239 slayings at that time, so in the ensuing 12 days there were 45 additional murders. Not since 2017 had there been this number of killings by this time of year.
But in the past month, since the May killing of George Floyd May 25 in Minneapolis while in police custody, tens of thousands of people have marched, there has been social unrest in several cities and riots in some of those municipalities. Floyd was black and his death re-energized the Black Lives Matter movement. Overwhelmingly, Chicago murder victims are black.
Surprisingly, Chicago increased its police budget for 2020. The Associated Press and Chicago Daily Herald are reporting the city budgeted $1.6 billion for police this year. While the city “is spending more on policing per person than at any time in the last half-century despite a persistent drop in crime over the last two decades,” the AP says “while the vast majority of murders remain unsolved.”
The story says Chicago “is planning to spend more than $600 per resident on policing in 2020.”