Video: “Chicago Tonight” talks about the work of violence interrupters with Vaughn Bryant of Metropolitan Peace Initiatives in Chicago and Communities Partnering 4 Peace; and Eddie Bocanegra of Heartland Alliance’s READI Chicago program. (Produced by Paul Caine)
May 2021 saw fewer homicides in Chicago than May 2020, but the city continues to outpace last year’s homicide total, according to Chicago Police Department figures.
The homicide total over the holiday weekend was the lowest in 10 years, police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday, as department officials credited the city’s newly announced summer safety plan with helping to limit violence.
“We’re looking forward to the rest of the summer being as safe as this weekend,” Community Policing Director Glen Brooks said during a news conference Tuesday morning.
In total, 32 people were shot over Memorial Day weekend, including four juveniles. Three people were killed, including a 26-year-old man who was shot while riding in a car in the 3100 block of West Ogden Avenue on Saturday afternoon; a 29-year-old who was shot and killed as he stood on a sidewalk in the 3700 block of West McLean Avenue on Sunday; and a 40-year-old man shot in the 700 block of North Spaulding Avenue on Monday.
City officials also hope the safety strategy — which will direct resources from multiple city departments into areas with the highest rates of violent crime in recent years — will help draw down those totals further.
“This approach is a great launch for the rest of the summer,” Brown said. “We have a lot of work to do, no one is celebrating anything.”
For the month of May, 64 people were killed, which marks a 23% decline over May 2020. The number of shootings (325 in May 2021) also declined about 4% during that same period.
Even so, the number of shootings (1,156) and homicides (252) in Chicago so far this year are up 20% and 5%, respectively, over the same time frame in 2020. As of Sunday, 632 carjackings had been recorded in 2021, though according to the department, there has been a 51% decline in the number of those crimes since a spike in January.
Chicago officers had their days off canceled and were put on 12-hour shifts ahead of the historically violent holiday weekend. Brown said the department is trying to balance community safety with officer wellness.
On Monday evening, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 noted that CPD officers have currently gone 11 consecutive days with 12-hour shifts and canceled days off.
“These types of deployments,” the union said, “simply are not sustainable.”