Chicago, Illinois endured a horrific end to last week, in which the city saw at least 54 people receive gunshot wounds, with 8 of these leading to a fatality.
According to a report from ABC7, a local news source, no arrests have yet been made in connection to any of these shootings.
These jarring statistics come as the Windy City has been rocked by gang violence over the past few year, earning itself the nickname “Chiraq”, alluding to its high level of danger and gun violence.
In one shooting, two men, 29 and 23 years old, were victims of a drive-by shooting at 3:20 am on Saturday morning. Both men were taken to the hospital where the 29 year old succumbed to his multiple woulds and the 23 is being treated for wounds to his arm and leg.
That same morning, a 29 year old man was shot and killed on the Red Line train, a public train which connects the north and south sides of Chicago.
Later on Saturday morning, a 20 year old man was found dead with a gunshot wound to his neck, and he was later pronounced dead, according to police.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has never been known as a leader who is hard on crime, has issued no statement yet on the shootings last weekend.
When faced with similar issues of rampant violence in September of last year, she offered this idea curb the record homicide rates in her city.
“What we are proposing is a tool in civil courts that gives us the opportunity to go after those gangs that are wreaking havoc, and in particular, take away the profit motive from them by seizing assets that they have been able to purchase because off their violent activity in our neighborhoods.”
Yes, you are reading that quote correctly, Mayor Lightfoot’s plan to slow gang related shootings is simply to take the gang to civil court.
You would not be alone if you think that hardly sounds like a sound plan in the face of a city-wide crisis.
Back in October of 2021, a gang shootout involving at least five suspects went unprosecuted in Chicago after the state’s attorneys office called the evidence insufficient.
Later, a police report showed that the prosecutors told investigators that since both sides of the gunfight were “mutual combatants” and therefore would not be charged with the recommended murder and aggravated battery.
One would be forgiven if they took this to mean that, in Chicago, any two consenting gangs are free to engage in a shootout in the middle of a city street and that would be permissible under the guise of this “mutual combat” precedent.
Mayor Lightfoot did speak out against this particular absurdity, saying “I believe that there are charges that can be brought at a minimum against the individuals who initiated the gunfire. We can’t live in a world where there’s no accountability.”
She also had the wherewithal to offer foreshadowing, at the time, for what would come in the following months.
“If they do not feel like the criminal justice system is going to hold them accountable, we’re going to see a level of brazenness that will send this city into chaos, and we cannot let that happen.”
Hopefully, with mayoral elections around the corner, Mayor Lightfoot or one of her opponents will step up and turn Chicago into the safe city that it is capable of becoming.