This year 1,583 people have been shot in Chicago as of June 11, 2021. An increase of 184 since 2020 and nearly 500 since 2019. The city’s police are bracing for a violent summer that will bring even more death and destruction to the city’s streets.
Chicago Shootings Tracker
According to the Chicago Tribune’s shootings tracker, 2021 is bringing levels of gun violence not seen since 2017. If the shootings continue at current levels, this year could be one of the most violent on record for the city.
Even more heartbreaking is the fact that more than 50 of the shooting victims were children, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, including 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, who was shot while sitting in the car with her father at a McDonald’s drive-thru and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
“These kids have witnessed more violence in their short years than most of us have seen in even the violent movies,” Taal Hasak-Lowy, executive director of Friends of the Children Chicago, told the Sun-Times. “These are terrifying times and there’s no words that will make somebody feel better. What’s going to make someone feel better is investing in programs and services that can truly make a difference.”
The increase in shootings comes as Illinois begins to implement a statewide police reform bill that makes police body cameras mandatory and allows for anyone to file an anonymous complaint against police officers — both of which could create a chilling effect for law enforcement officers who are doing their best to keep people safe.
Signs of Hope
In one bright spot, the number of vehicular hijackings in Chicago is down more than 55% from last year, and police are on track to seize more guns than last year. As of May 3, the department had seized 3,600 guns, a 34% increase from 2020.
“Vehicular hijackings remain a concern, but Chicago is trending in the right direction,” Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown told the Associated Press.
Image Credit: Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels
The American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., recently released a report outlining its public opinion polling on issues related to race and police — and the results might surprise you.