Monday's HOT MIC
The number of murders in Chicago this year is on track to top last year's carnage. The grim total for 2016 was 792 murders and more than 3500 wounded.
This past weekend, 6 Chicagoans lost their lives and 35 were wounded during a hot and humid summer weekend. Much of the violence was reported in city parks, where inner city residents gather on sultry nights.
There have been at least 391 homicides this year, four more than last year when violence reached levels not seen in two decades, according to data kept by the Tribune.
The number of people shot, however, is down from last year: 2,112 compared to 2,337.
The first homicide of the weekend occurred Friday night when 23-year-old Brendon Frazier was killed in the 8800 block of South Eggleston Avenue, the South Side block where he lived.
Early Monday, an ambulance responded to the same block to treat a man for a gunshot wound to his right ankle. He told police the shooting happened near the 400 block of East 87th Street. Neighbors said the ambulance arrived at the same home where Frazier lived.
Between Saturday and Sunday mornings, a 35-year-old man was killed in Humboldt Park on the West Side, and an 18-year-old was fatally shot in Marquette Park on the Southwest Side. In Avalon Park on the South Side, a 40-year-old man was killed and three others were wounded. The surviving victims gave officers different accounts of what happened, police said.
Random shootings on Chicago's expressways and tollways have everyone on edge. This year, there have been 30 such shootings across the area.
In New York City, murders and violent crime are way down. Other big cities are violent but not near as bad as Chicago.
Authorities are at a loss to explain it. Law enforcement will cite the fact that Chicago is a key hub in the illegal trafficking of drugs and there is fierce, often violent competition to move product.
But the bottom line is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut the police force drastically 4 years ago and it will take another couple of years for the department to recover its previous numbers. He also seems more concerned about the police shooting civilians than thugs killing citizens.
The politicians and civic leaders are all screaming for more gun control. Gun laws are already as draconian in Chicago as anywhere in the nation, but the first refuge of liberal scoundrels when talking about violence is going after the guns.
It won't help, of course. Which is why the city will remain a shooting gallery for the foreseeable future.