Outbreaks of violence in Chicago, especially when temperatures soar, are never easy to digest, no matter how frequent.
The bullets that showered the South Side in three mass shootings and the gunfire that rang out downtown “The Bean” earlier this week, injuring a 19-year-old man, were no exception.
Tragically, many of us have become accustomed to headlines. But Chicago can never accept the news of one shooting after another. Not when so many of us dread the summer months, wondering if a bloodbath is on the way.
No one should have to live with this fear. The crimes that blanketed our city on Tuesday and Wednesday are another grim reminder that stopping the violence must be the top priority of leaders.
Last month, after what was then the most violent weekend of the year, we renewed our plea for a summit where criminal justice experts, law enforcement officials, activists communities and others could come together, all together, to discuss the most effective strategies to keep our communities safer.
We don’t mind sounding like a broken record, if the repeated message can save lives.
Stakeholders, roll up your sleeves, put aside your egos and your differences and start talking, together. Now.
Violence is Chicago’s worst scourge. Everyone – low-income, middle-class and wealthy people – wants to end all of this.
Take billionaire Ken Griffin, whom we have criticized in the past. But we have to hand it to Griffin, who announced on Tuesday that he would pay $25 million to launch two University of Chicago academies that will provide six months of training for police leaders at home and abroad, and those who lead violence interruption groups.
Michael Sacks, CEO of GCM Grosvenor, will also donate an additional $2.5 million in start-up funds for schools, which the University of California said would cost $75 million, Frank Main of the Chicago Sun reported. -Times.
More training and education for those dealing with high-risk individuals can only help. The chiefs of police and those of the violence response groups will share a few lessons, and the fact that the two groups become more familiar with each other is also a plus.
It’s telling that the same day Griffin and Sacks made the announcement, gunfire broke out. It was a stern warning illustrating the difficult task ahead of us.
By the end of the day, 21 people had been shot. Eleven of those victims were struck in two mass shootings.
In one of the incidents, a 19-year-old man was shot dead and four other teenagers were injured as little girls played near an open mouth at Back of the Yards. Five hours later in Jackson Park, six people were injured when an argument broke out between two groups who were broadcasting live, police said.
Minutes before the second mass shooting, a teenager was shot in the shoulder while sitting in the back of a vehicle on the first block of North Michigan Avenue in the Loop.
It wasn’t the first time violence broke out this month in the downtown area.
Then on Wednesday, two adults and two police boys described as “pre-teens” were injured in a shooting in West Englewood.
Police Superintendent David Brown on Wednesday blamed the Back of the Yards shooting on a 28-year-old convicted felon. He also took a dig at the Cook County criminal justice system for recently allowing the reputed gang member to be released on relatively low bail for a weapons charge, despite his violent record.
Brown did not specify what role the man played in the shooting, but said he was behind most of the recent gang violence in the area.
“There needs to be better risk assessment by judges,” the police chief told reporters. “The police did their job.
Brown was frustrated and he’s right. Cook County is on the verge of getting rid of cash bail, but the justice system must ensure that public safety comes first. Criminal justice reform advocates and law enforcement must put aside their differences and figure out how to get there.
There are strategies and solutions to curb violent crime. They will only work if everyone involved comes together.
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