The surge in violence that has emerged this summer in major American cities continued over the weekend, with at least 64 shooting victims in Chicago and 52 in New York City since Thursday.
Five men were killed in the violence in Chicago, while injured victims included teenagers and one 12-year-old boy. In New York, seven of the weekend’s 52 victims died, including an off-duty corrections officer who was shot with his own department-issued weapon. Witnesses told a local ABC affiliate that that shooting was likely planned, with three cars pulling up to encircle the victim.
President Trump on Sunday threatened to lead a federal response to violence in New York.
“Law and Order,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “If NYC Mayor [Bill de Blasio] can’t do it, we will!”
Shootings also occurred at a block party in Philadelphia attended by around 300 people; responding officers came under fire but were not injured. In Cincinnati, Ohio, 18 people were shot on Sunday morning in four separate incidents.
Shootings generally rise in major cities during the summer months, however 2020 has seen a more dramatic increase in shootings across the country relative to previous years. Homicides in Chicago have risen about 54 percent compared with 2019, while homicides in New York rose 24 percent. Criminologists point to a number of factors to explain the rise, including the effects of coronavirus lockdowns on city social structures as well as the anti-police sentiment that has taken hold following the George Floyd protests.
“I was surprised at the consistency of the increase across all of the different cities,” Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. However, Ludwig also noted that “Everything that society does that might shape public safety was turned upside-down during the pandemic.”