CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Chicago’s brutally violent Father’s Day weekend brings the number of shootings this year to 1,803, and nearly 300 people have been killed in the crossfire.
“So let's get down to the nitty gritty of it. The violence right now in Chicago is completely unacceptable,” said Supt. Eddie Johnson.
The timing couldn't have been better. Superintendent Johnson was participating in a panel discussion titled, ‘Chicago's Homicide Crisis.’
Over the weekend, 13 people were shot and killed with another 43 wounded. For the year, almost 300 Chicagoans have been killed.
Father Michael Pfleger told the city club audience that Illinois officials ought to declare a state of emergency, as if a tornado had hit the south or west side.
“Too many of our communities are living traumatized, it is unacceptable when parks and porches are empty on summer days, because parents are afraid to have their children out,” Pfleger said.
Cleo Pendleton, who lost her 15-year-old daughter Hadiya three years ago, said that unfortunately, she's part of a club that just keeps getting more members - parents who have lost a child to gun violence.
“The question is, what is being done to prevent other people from joining our club?” Cleopatra said.
Superintendent Johnson told reporters afterward that the numbers so far this summer haven't prompted any drastic changes. The solution, he says, is more help from trusting communities and stiffer bonds and sentences for repeat gun offenders.
“The Chicago police department is doing their part in terms of arresting people with guns. Where we're losing it is keeping those repeat gun offenders accountable for what they do,” Supt. Johnson said.
The superintendent threw out one statistic that will probably stick with the crowd. Since the start of the year, police on average have removed one illegal gun every hour from the streets of Chicago.