The Chicago Police Department beefed up their manpower by 30% this weekend to patrol the streets where violence has become infamously common, and yet it was still able to prevail. Between Friday and Sunday, there were 33 shootings, 40 injuries, and seven deaths including the murder of 7-year-old Amari Brown.
Amari was with his father in the Humboldt Park neighborhood spending the day at his grandmother’s house for the Fourth of July. Just a little before midnight, the gunman opened fire where Amari and his friends had been playing all day, but he was never the intended victim of the bullet. Rather, Amari’s father, a gang member with a very detailed criminal record was the intended recipient.
Superintendent, Gary McCarthy, blamed a broken justice system for failing Amari, among others, in a conference held on Sunday afternoon. Had his father, who had previously been arrested 45 times, been in custody, Amari would still be alive, explained McCarthy, who spoke through obvious frustration.
At a vigil held for Amari on Sunday, family friend Michael Singleton agreed with the superintendent’s call for change. He said, “All of you all will be back out here next week, on another corner, filming the same thing, from somebody else, saying exactly what I’m saying… Until we make a better decision as a community and as a city, this is all that’s going to happen.”
In comparison to last year’s statistics, the gun-violence has actually decreased. During the same time in 2014, there was 64 shootings, 69 injuries, and 15 deaths, but something still needs to be done. During the chaos, the police confiscated at least one illegal gun per household, indicating as McCarthy addressed, that the police “must stem the flow of guns into the city” and reform a system in which currently, criminals do not respect.
When a mother is mourning the murder of her 7-year-old baby boy, it goes without saying that change is undoubtedly in order.