Chicago is known for its less than prestigious neighborhoods and Memorial Day weekend has proven exactly why. Fatalities and injuries due to gang violence are at an all time high over the holiday weekend.
Over the years the city has begun to decay, rot and become infested with gangs. Corruption in local politics and government prohibits the city from growing and moving forward allowing it to stagnate. Violence and civil unrest have increased substantially throughout the years.
Gun violence has increased 50 percent over last year during the same time period. Over the Memorial Day weekend, since Sunday, 40 civilians have been shot. There are two days left in the holiday. Final numbers have not been tallied. As of Sunday morning, 36 had been wounded, 40 dead, including a 15 year old female teenager who was shot dead in her Jeep.
The city is in massive debt and almost completely bankrupt. Reverend Corey Brooks, a pastor from the South Side, made a statement on the issue. “If something doesn’t change, if we don’t get jobs for these kids, if we don’t change the economic situation, I’m worried that we could be looking at a blood bath, if something doesn’t happen, I fear that we’re potentially looking at one of the worst summers we’ve ever had,” the Reverend maintained.
The South Side is popularly known as the same location in Chicago that President Obama is from. It has a large African American community. Their are only 13,318 police officers in the city. Unfortunately, gang members outnumber law enforcement by about a 10 to 1 margin. Illegal immigration has been linked to an increase in the gang population.
First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante made a public statement concerning the violence. “As we’ve said before, it’s about 1,500 people that are driving the violence, those are the people we’re trying to concentrate on,” he said. He insisted that specific areas were going to have increased levels of patrol cars.
Community activist, Tio Hardiman told NBC 5, “The police cannot stop the killings in the Chicagoland area and it’s not their fault, the community needs to organize in high numbers and work with these guys on street corners in an aggressive way.”
This Memorial Day weekend is as bloody for Chicago as the wars waged that made this holiday possible.