Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, Garry McCarthy said yesterday ongoing Chicago violence in the city is due to “lax state and federal gun laws.”
According the Chicago Tribune, McCarthy was referring to a 13-hour period from Sunday afternoon until early Monday when four people were killed and at least another 26 were wounded, many of them critically. The most chaotic scene erupted in a South Side Chicago neighborhood when three people were shot during a running gun battle that drew heavily armed SWAT teams and a police helicopter to the scene.
“Everybody asks me what’s different about New York and Chicago. I can tell you very simply: proliferation of firearms … And something that I’ve learned over the course of the last three years, being on patrol … [with police officers] who put their lives on the line every single day, is that there’s a greater sanction for the gang members to lose that firearm from a gang than there is to go to jail,” said McCarthy.
Overall, 77 people were shot, 12 of them fatally, between Thursday afternoon and early Monday morning, according to a Tribune analysis. In addition, Chicago police shot five people, two fatally.
McCarthy, reciting the criminal histories of several of the suspects in this past weekend’s violence, noted gang members face tougher consequences for losing their guns from their gangs than from authorities, hence, very little fear from gang members firing back at police officers.
The superintendent said police will continue a summer program to flood high-violence areas with police, but he said that without stronger gun laws, police will continue to face an uphill battle.