Deadly shootings once again plagued the nation's towns and cities over Memorial Day weekend, according to Newsweek.
On Monday, Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo delivered an ominous warning, saying in an appearance on CNN’s “Newsroom” that "unless the American people speak out, it's gonna be a long, hot bloody summer," referring to a shooting outside a Miami banquet hall early Sunday that left two dead and 21 others wounded, and three other people hospitalized in critical condition.
Miami officials are still investigating another drive-by shooting on Friday that killed one person and injured six others outside a venue in the Wynwood area of Miami.
In the CNN appearance, Acevedo suggested who is to blame for the recent surge in crime, saying, "We can thank a lot of elected officials for that."
“It’s heartbreaking and this has to stop, not only in our community, but in this country," Director of Miami-Dade Police Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez told CNN on Tuesday.
This weekend's deadly shootings also occurred in big cities including Baltimore, New Orleans and Chicago, and small towns such as Branson, Missouri.
According to a recent report from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice — a bipartisan commission created last year to assess the impact of the pandemic on the justice system — the number of homicides across the country in the first quarter of 2021 was up 24% compared with the same period in 2020 and up 49% from 2019.
The weekend ended with a Monday night shooting outside a Miami Beach restaurant that wounded two people. The rap star DaBaby was interviewed and released without charges in relation to that shooting.
Acevedo told CNN host Jim Sciutto on Monday that there is blame for the uptick in crime on both sides of the political spectrum. He said, "I think from the left, we need to stop talking about the militarization of police and defunding the police and start focusing on actually investing in better policing and better training."
The police chief also said: "We need to toughen up the laws, how easy it is for crooks to get guns, and then we need to hold criminals accountable. Those that would do harm to others need to be in prison, they need not to pass go or collect $200."
The GOP senator from Texas, John Cornyn, agrees that more needs to be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
"I believe that people that are already disqualified from purchasing firearms, we need to do a better job of keeping those guns out of the hands of criminals, people with serious mental illness and others who would be a potential harm to themselves and others."
Cornyn, however, has voted against a range of gun control laws during his time in the Senate, including one in 2016 that would have ensured that people prohibited from purchasing a gun are listed in a national background check system and require those individuals to undergo a background check every time they attempt to buy a gun.
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