Shootings and homicides in Chicago increased sharply in June compared to the same time last year.
Police data show that shootings in Chicago increased by 75% in June of 2020 compared to June 2019, and murders in the city rose by 78%, according to NBC 5 Chicago.
In June of this year, 424 people were shot, and 89 were murdered — compared to 242 shootings and 50 murders during the same month last year.
Last weekend alone, gun violence killed more than a dozen people, including three children. Twelve people were killed on Father’s Day weekend, including a 3-year-old.
The city plans to deploy 1,200 extra officers over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to WGN TV.
When asked about the rise in violence, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, said it was a “complicated” question and suggested that gun control is the answer.
“That’s a complicated question,” Lightfoot said. “We have way too many guns on the streets.”
Lightfoot also suggested that the coronavirus shutdowns that kept people inside for months played a role in creating a “perfect storm” while also pointing out the death of George Floyd as an event that sparked anger in the community.
Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara shifted some of the blame on to local officials, including Lightfoot, for criticizing police and making it harder for them to do their jobs.
“When the top official in this city is blaming the police for everything that’s wrong, to hide their inefficiencies and inadequacies, it definitely makes people stop and wonder, ‘What am I doing? Am I going home? Am I going to have a job tomorrow? Am I going to be in jail next week?’” Catanzara said.
Police did say that crime in the city overall has gone down 9% through the end of June but did not provide overall crime data for June specifically.