Violence in Democrat-run Chicago went on as usual this past weekend. Fox News reported that 34 people were shot, including a three year old boy who died from his wounds.
According to the report, three-year-old Mateo Zastro was in a car with his mother and siblings when an alleged road rage incident occurred, resulting in gunfire penetrating the vehicle which Zastro was riding in.
Another child, aged 7, was going to church with his family on Sunday, when a family member confronted someone going through the family vehicle. The suspect pulled out a gun and fired in the direction of the family hitting the boy. The child is, thankfully, expected to recover from his injuries.
Also on Sunday, a suspect who was accused of aiming a gun at a women was also shot when he pointed a weapon at police and proceeded to flee as officers attempted to apprehend him. The officers then spotted him a second time, and again tried to apprehend him. An officer fired at the suspect, hitting and killing him.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown did not confirm if the suspect pointed his gun at officers prior to the fatal shot.
Chicago Police Deputy Chief Larry Snelling commented on the latest rash of violence throughout the city saying, “We’ve seen children shot across this city in ridiculous numbers. When did we become a society where we stop caring about the children?”
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Despite the horrific tales of innocent children being shot, the homicide rate in Chicago has actually gone down from January to August 2022 compared to the same time last year.
According to Chicago Police Department’s own numbers, 448 people have been killed in 2022, and a total of 2,352 individuals having been shot. While the number of homicides is lower than the last two years, it is 100% higher than in 2019. The homicide rate is down 16% this year, and the total number of shootings is currently down 19%.
The numbers for August 2022 alone are 18% lower compared to August of last year. However, homicides year-to-date in 2022 are still up 35% compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019. In August alone, 1,200 weapons were recovered by police, an average of 38 firearms per day.
Quite a bit for a city with strict gun laws.
Chicago is in much the same dilemma as other big cities, who are encountering issues with retention and recruitment of police officers. A recent report from Wirepoints showed that in 2021, more than half of Chicago’s high priority police calls were not answered.
Public records requests showed that number to be around 406,829 calls. That comes out to roughly 52% of 788,000 high priority calls handled by 911 dispatchers in 2021.
High priority calls are defined as either priority level 1 which are, “an imminent threat to life, bodily injury, or major property damage/loss,” and priority level 2 that require, “timely police action…has the potential to affect the outcome of an incident.”
The current crisis of police shortages has been called the “Ferguson” effect, the “George Floyd” effect, but it all has lead to one outcome, less cops on the street. Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated that she did not support defunding the police, but in 2021 she slashed the police budget by $80 million. Some of that included not hiring new officers after others left or retired.
So far this year, Chicago has lost 300 officers alone. In 2021, an astonishing 965 uniformed members of the CPD left or retired. This year, Mayor Lightfoot was forced to fund the police budget to the tune of $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion, but one must wonder whether that will change the course the city is already on or if the permanent damage has already been done.
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