A spike in shootings during the past month and a half continued with 64 shooting victims in Chicago and 28 in New York City over the weekend.
While overall crime is down in both cities, there has been an uptick in gun violence in June and July as compared to the same period in 2019. That uptick comes in the midst of massive protests against police kindled by the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by officers in Minneapolis.
Of the shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, 13 were killed including two children. The same weekend in 2019 saw 41 shooting victims with nine dead. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has announced the creation of “mobile patrol” units to increase police presence in various neighborhoods, in an attempt to clamp down on the violence.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week that the uptick in gun violence could be attributed at least in part to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The ecosystem of public safety that isn’t just law enforcement but is local, community-based, they too, have really been hit hard by COVID and are now just kind of coming back online and getting their footing,” Lightfoot said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, New York City recorded 28 shooting victims over the weekend, with 15 of those shot within a 15-hour period, according to the New York Post. The victims included a one-year-old boy who was killed after gunfire erupted near a barbecue in Brooklyn.
Much of the spike in shootings in June occurred in 10 specific precincts, NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri said last week, adding “Those communities are being overrun by the small percentage of gang members who have no regard for their own life and absolutely zero regard for the community.”
The NYPD also dealt with multiple pro- and anti-police demonstrations over the weekend, some of which descended into scuffles between the two factions.