Violence in Chicago surged over the Fourth of July weekend, killing 10, including 7-year-old Amari Brown, who took a bullet intended for his gang-member father.
According to The Chicago Tribune
, the crimewave "peaked from dusk Saturday until dawn Sunday, when 30 people were shot across Chicago — nearly half the total for the entire weekend." In all, 55 were shot, with none of the shootings involving police.
Last year's Fourth of July weekend saw 82 people shot
, with 16 fatalities. Then, five of those shot were wounded by police.
In a Sunday press conference, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy blamed the violence on a lack of tough gun laws in the state.
"We need to repair a broken system," he said. "Criminals don’t feel the repercussions of the justice system."
Jessica Disu, the lead youth organizer of Chicago’s International Youth Peace Movement, told MSNBC
that tougher laws aren't what's really needed in the community.
"I don’t think the answer is for the police to lock up more people in the community," Disu said. "We need jobs, we need education. We need mentors. So if they put down the guns, we can put books in their hands."
Year over year, Chicago has seen a 20-percent increase in shootings in the first six months of 2015 as compared to last year. Arrests for illegal gun possession are up by 8 percent.
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