For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks, and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different.
For the second year running, Chicago saw a spate of violence over the long holiday weekend that would generate headlines if it happened in Kabul.
“It’s Groundhog Day here in Chicago” is how police superintendent Garry McCarthy put it. This year, the tally of shame was more than 80 people shot and 14 killed. Last year, a slightly longer July Fourth weekend (the holiday fell on a Thursday) saw 75 people shot and 12 fatalities.
The astonishing numbers underline how Chicago, despite recent progress on crime, is still a byword for gunplay and urban chaos. It is a city where life, at least among young men living in the most dangerous neighborhoods, is cheap.
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