WHY FORTY-NINE SHOT over Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago Is Called ‘Progress’

Written by Kevin Fobbs on June 3, 2017

For many families across the nation the past Memorial Day weekend launched pre-summer activities that began with celebrating the military men and women who sacrificed their life so that Americans can be secure and free. Unfortunately for families on Chicago’s southside, there was no true security or freedom to celebrate when forty-nine were shot and the police regard that as a victory over previous shootings and murderous rampages, according to USA Today.

There is something tragically wrong in any city when the warfare being waged is not in some faraway land against terrorists, but instead is fought in Chicago neighborhoods by street thugs who terrorize young children, families and senior citizens. Yet, the police in the Windy City are doing a victory dance in their precincts because there have been nine fewer murders in Chicago this year than at the same period last year.

It can be certain that the families of those murdered are not celebrating the fewer murdered numbers. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning when the five people who were killed in Chicago shootings between Friday and Monday night began their last day on Earth, ending up in the city morgue was not in their plans.

Yet, for those five victims of senseless murders and the 44 who were wounded over the same period of time, life on the edge is far too common an occurrence. Only in Chicago can those whose lives are never touched by the threat of violence imagine an upside to this reckless disregard for human life. Yet, when the law enforcement community examines the fact that there are seven less killed and sixty-one injured between Friday evening and Monday night, they are ready to break out the champagne.

The numbers crunchers who provide the statistics for the carnage which has flowed through the streets of Chicago like a sea of red pain and misery applaud the fact that the city has recorded only 235 murders compared to 244 for the same period in 2016. The city’s police-department-reported incidents involving shootings in 2017 for the same period was 1,047 compared to the 1,222-last year.

One Chicago police official sees a ray of hope in the sea of anarchy that has gripped the lives of far too many of the city’s residents in the black and Latino neighborhoods. On Tuesday, according to USA Today, First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro stated, “While that’s not a declaration of victory, it’s certainly progress in the right direction,” in heralding the drop in the number of murders and shootings in the city.

This summer, before the police department continues its happy dance over the drop in murders and shootings in the city, they should keep in mind that real people and families are losing their precious jewels. Last year there were 762 murders and more than 4,000 shooting incidents in Chicago.

Before the sweltering heat of the summer grips the city’s, poor neighborhoods and gang violence and street thugs go on the rampage, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city council better focus their attention on giving the police unqualified support instead of ripping apart their morale.

Unlike the mayor who has 24-hour protection, these families, children, senior citizens in these neighborhoods in Chicago are all but defenseless and Memorial Day weekend is just like any other murder filled weekend that leaves them nothing to celebrate but surviving another day.

photo credit: Tex Texin “Crime Scene Do Not Cross” tape via photopin (license)

Share if you agree forty-nine shot in Chicago is still a long, long way from victory.

Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs has more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience as a community and tenant organizer, Legal Services outreach program director, public relations consultant, business executive, gubernatorial and presidential appointee, political advisor, widely published writer, and national lecturer. Kevin is co-chair and co-founder of AC-3 (American-Canadian Conservative Coalition) that focuses on issues on both sides of the border between the two countries.