At least 43 people were shot, seven fatally, in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend even as severe storms kept people indoors and 1,200 extra officers patrolled the streets.
The toll was slightly higher than last year’s Memorial Day weekend, when 39 people were shot, seven of them fatally, according to shooting data kept by the Tribune. In 2017, 45 people were shot, seven of them killed. And in 2016, 71 people shot, six of them fatally, in one of the most violent Memorial Day weekends in recent years.
“That is just an unacceptable state of affairs,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters after a Monday ceremony at a Grant Park monument to commemorate the nation’s war dead.
The new mayor said she rode with officers Saturday night and responded with them to a shooting on the South Side. She also spoke of the frequency of email notifications she receives alerting her to shootings.
“I certainly knew that before, but to see it graphically depicted is quite shocking and says that we’ve got a long way to go as a city,” she said. “This is not a law enforcement-only challenge. It’s a challenge for all of us in city government. It’s a challenge for us in communities to dig down deeper and ask ourselves what we can do to step up to stem the violence.”
Repeating a main talking point of police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Lightfoot said a critical part of the city’s strategy is getting illegal guns off the streets by focusing on gun traffickers, felons carrying guns and those who have their firearm ownership cards revoked.