The recent escalation of gun violence in Chicago may be a forewarning of more dangerous things to come unless it is stopped. A total of nine children under the age of 18 have been shot and killed in Chicago since June 20.
“At least 414 people have been murdered in the city this year,” President Trump said. “These are numbers that are not even to be believed.”
Chicago Police Department reported 31 murders from July 6 to July 12—a 417 percent increase from the six murders recorded during the same time last year, statistics show. The city saw 116 homicides during the most recent 28-day period, compared to the 41 reported in 2019, reports Fox News.
There have been 385 murders this year to date, a 48 percent increase year-over-year, data shows.
On Tuesday, July 21, 15 people were injured at a funeral home in a drive-by shooting, despite police having a presence outside. “We had intelligence that the deceased was killed in a drive-by shooting … and there was a gang connection and we deployed our resources accordingly,” Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at a news conference.
Overall the weekend saw 10 people killed and 60 people injured due to gun violence.
The president is deploying 100 federal agents to Chicago in an attempt to stem the flow of violence. Widespread violence and civil unrest are affecting many cities and combined with people’s restrictions because of the pandemic; many places are experiencing out of control behavior.
Due to the pandemic, many people have become jobless, and the loss of loved ones has caused their grief to become overwhelming. But it is no excuse for the violence and senseless killing of others.
“The effort to shut down police in their own communities has led to a shocking explosion of shootings, killing, violence, murders,” President Trump said during a speech in the White House’s East Room on Wednesday, July 22. “This rampage of violence shocks the conscience of our nation and we will not stand by and watch it happen.”
The “surge” of agents to Chicago and other American cities is part of Operation Legend—named after 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was fatally shot while sleeping in a Kansas City apartment late last month.
Federal law enforcement officers have already descended on Portland, Ore. and Kansas City, Mo., reports Fox News
“We cannot get used to hearing about children being gunned down in Chicago every weekend,” Brown said shortly after the spate of violence on July 4 weekend.
Several lawmakers from various cities have objected to the president sending agents to their cities, and in Portland, there were reports of agents detaining protesters in unmarked cars.
Constant demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism have been occurring in Portland since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
“The president is attacking progressive cities with troops who are unwelcome and unskilled,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a letter signed by 16 mayors calling on Trump to reverse his orders. “Militarized agents are terrorizing the American people. We must stand together for peace and reform, and against these un-American tactics.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot added: “We welcome partnership, not dictatorship, and will never tolerate the kind of unconstitutional deployment and state-sanctioned lawlessness we saw in Portland.”
Under no circumstances will I allow Donald Trump’s troops to come to Chicago and terrorize our residents.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 21, 2020