Eighteen people were fatally shot in one 24 hour period in Chicago, making it the most violent 24-hour period the city has experienced in the last 60 years, according to new data.
The news comes as Chicago’s far-left mayor Lori Lightfoot orders Chicagoans not to use guns to defend themselves even though the city has descended into lawlessness and chaos in recent weeks under her leadership.
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“Obviously we’re aware of the fact that Illinois is a concealed carry state, and that many people have weapons at their disposal in their homes and their businesses,” Lightfoot said. “Do not take matters into your own hands. Call the police.”
However, many Chicago residents say they need to defend themselves as society continues to break down in the liberal city.
The University of Chicago Crime Lab said May 31 was the most violent day in the city since 1961, when the lab started keeping track of the data.
Previously, the record was August 4, 1991, when 13 people were killed in Chicago, the lab said.
‘We’ve never seen anything like it, at all,’ Max Kapustin, Crime Lab senior research director told the Chicago Sun-Times of the number of fatal shootings on May 31.
Kapustin added that ‘I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before.‘
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that 65,000 calls were made to the city’s 911 line – for all services, not just shootings.
On a typical day in Chicago, only 15,000 are received by the city’s 911 operators.
Overall that weekend, from May 29 at 7pm through May 31 at 11pm, 25 people were killed, while 85 people suffered shooting wounds, according to city data tabulated by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Comparatively, in 2019, there were 492 murders and three fatal police-involved shootings in Chicago.
Anti-gun violence advocate Rev. Michael Pfleger, who leads Chicago’s St. Sabina Church, called the weekend following Floyd’s death ‘open season’ in his Auburn Gresham neighborhood, as well as in others on the South and West sides of the city.
As with many other cities across the US, Chicago had been in the midst of George Floyd protests which sometimes involved violence, vandalism and looting.
‘On Saturday and particularly Sunday, I heard people saying all over, “Hey, there’s no police anywhere, police ain’t doing nothing,”‘ Pfleger told the newspaper.
Pfleger said that at some point, he ‘sat and watched a store looted for over an hour,’ without any police responding to the scene. It was the same story when he drove past other places that were getting looted.
Kapustin noted that it’s not uncommon for police departments to have to divert resources to manning demonstrations during times of massive upheavals or protests.
‘When CPD has to turn its attention elsewhere and there’s suddenly this vacuum that opens up, you also unfortunately see a picture like you saw with [last] weekend where you see an absurd amount of carnage, people getting injured and killed,’ Kapustin said.
Pfleger said that issues like joblessness, food insecurity and a lack of housing in minority communities, exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic, plus Floyd’s death at the hands of Minnesota police, brought out ‘hopelessness and anger’ among those living in blighted neighborhoods.
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