City leaders, community members speak out after weekend violence

Chicago’s police superintendent lashed out at what he called lax state and federal gun laws after a violent Fourth of July weekend that saw more than 60 people shot and nine killed in a city already known for frequent shootings.

“There has to come a tipping point where this changes,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday of the violence. “The illogical nature of what’s happening here — that government can intercede and prevent this from happening is overwhelming. And I refuse to think otherwise in a great country like America that we can continue to allow this to happen — not just on a state, but on a federal level.”

McCarthy, reciting the criminal histories of several of the suspects in this weekend’s violence, noted gang members face tougher consequences for losing their guns from their gangs than from authorities.

“Possession of a loaded firearm — it’s not even considered a violent felony in the state of Illinois for sentencing purposes — which is why you see the revolving door,” he said.

Among the suspects: a man wanted in connection with a murder who has 21 prior arrests, and another with six previous arrests, including one this year for aggravated assault for discharging a weapon.

“How this individual is out on bond is beyond me,” McCarthy said.

The incidents include eight times in which police fired guns at suspects or were fired on, McCarthy told reporters. In two of those incidents, police shot and killed the suspects, both of whom were 16.

McCarthy said the violence unraveled a string of successes by police in suppressing gun violence this year. The city saw 21 shooting incidents on Sunday alone, he said, although three of them may have been self-inflicted.

Marlin Williams’ niece Tonya Gunn was among the nine victims, killed in a drive-by shooting Sunday night while she was cooking food on the grill. Her 11-year-old daughter witnessed the shooting.

“I feel hurt,” Williams said Monday. “I will never be able to see my niece again.”

In 2013, 12 people died and 75 were injured during the four-day Independence Day holiday, according to CNN affiliate WLS.

The holiday shootings follow a week in which Chicago had 52 shooting incidents, according to Police Department statistics. This year, as of June 29, Chicago police had recorded 880 shooting incidents, an average of nearly five a day.

McCarthy said Monday, “It’s Groundhog Day here in Chicago.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the violence “simply unacceptable” and said the city needs to go beyond policing and provide youths “alternatives to the street.”

McCarthy 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.

“These offenders need to be held fully accountable for violent behavior to prevent them from ending up back on the street too soon,” he said, adding, “There’s too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out.”
TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.




Related: 2 blocks, 30 minutes of gunfire: Just part of deadly weekend in Chicago

Chicago Tribune’s map of shootings



  • MrCrabs

    There is nothing wrong with Illinois gun laws. It is third is shear volume of laws behind California and Massachusetts. McCarthy is from Massachusetts. Thus, we don’t have enough laws. He’d be in favor of patting down everyone, warrant-less search and seizure, and revoking the 2nd Amendment.

    • chavez

      He is fully aware that it is the gangs. The gangs have GUNS. McCarthy always speaks on gangs having guns and the broken family structure.

  • Darrin Honeycutt

    I Said it before this is a terrorist act on the streets of Chicago. Once
    You start treating as
    It is. You will see a difference. Ppl don’t want to be treated like terrorist
    especially people of color.
    If it’s ok to go to other
    Country to fight wars of
    The same matter you should do it. Ppl of Chicago are afraid which makes it a. Terrorist act…

    Think about it…

  • Nicki

    Why is anyone that has been arrested 21 times still free. Build more prisons and keep the criminals behind bars instead of terrorizing neighborhoods. No tolerance!

  • eric

    I’m confused. ..Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws on the books… how do all these people get these guns when they’re illegal?

    • Toli Papadopoulos

      people like you who think gun control is a waste of time are idiots. great Briton with almost 70 million has about 500 murders with about maybe 50 via gun. i live in philadelphia we have over 300 gun murders with a population little over a million. usa as a whole has no gun control……im sure they can purchase and take to chicago for a profit. we need gun control …… its the only way.

      • eric

        And yet, the VAST majority of murders both here and in the UK are committed with knives or other sharp objects…

        Why don’t we need background checks and registration of our knives? Seriously. ..who really needs a machete or sword anyways? Or those monster knives included in every set of knives that one ever uses?

        Seems we’re wasting our time on guns when the real killers are knives…

  • Shawn

    I’m not quite sure that anybody understands yet… Gun laws stricter or not the violence you see on chicago streets will continue to occur until we stand up and demand that they take this serious. Nobody deserves to have to live like this. There may be many contributing factors to the violence but it is at the point that we take action and ask questions later. Who cares about the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th amendment. Our babies deserve to be able to live out here safely.. Come on mayor and police chief please stop bullshitting us and shut this down.

  • Dan

    The movie, “Groundhog Day,” is NOT a story about same-shit-different-day. It’s a story of self-improvement and redemption. It will be “Groundhog Day” in Chicago when this does not happen. I am sick of people mis-using this movie as a symbol of status quo, boredom, or… I can’t even believe I have to say this… a weekend of rampant gun violence.

  • YahWho

    How about bringing in the national guard or imposing Marshall law. enact a curfew and stick to it. Take back your city and stop just talking about how bad it is. Do something.

  • le

    this is plain ignorance on top of ignorance. I am noticing this has become a black issue so white people say. Since it happens mainly in the black communities, I am sure it certainly appears so. It is easy for most people to look down on, or, lets say, denigrate others, for any reason, as it makes them feel righteous about themselves, for whatever truth is in their heart they want to feed.

    But I challenge the whites, as a black female that has lived in Chicago, grew up and still go through the toughest parts of the city because my family still owns property there that they won’t sell, all of my 35+ years of living, that is not what you call, jobless, waiting on a welfare check, etc. but one who’s always maintained a great career, to step outside of your life box. I wouldn’t say thinking box, but id say put on a thinking cap. Be smarter. It’s time. Unless you feel as if the “god in who we trust” has condemned the black race in all of Chicago, or other urban areas to go as far, let it go. You couldn’t handle this if you were paid. Just look at the officials! They don’t know! Countless programs are showing their new guesstimates after new guesstimates and you people are ready to buy.

    If you don’t let it go, don’t be a hypocrite because you do nothing plus, nobody of any race appreciates a hypocrite.

    Instead, consider what SHAWN said “I’m not quite sure that anybody understands yet… Gun laws stricter or not the violence you see on Chicago streets will continue to occur until we stand up and demand that they take this serious” He says, “Nobody deserves to have to live like this. There may be many contributing factors to the violence but it is at the point that we take action and ask questions later. Who cares about the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th amendment. Our babies deserve to be able to live out here safely.. Come on mayor and police chief please stop bullshitting us and shut this down.”

    I agree with SHAWN. As a democrat that supports our current President, Barack Obama, as he was named, I support bearing arms. This is my belief, not his. But if they say one more time it’s gangs, I am throwing in the towel to CPD forever as if they’re cowards that dont want to get their hands dirty or on their knees to clean the toilet they use everyday. LIES they’re telling to keep a job they’re doing so poorly. Gangs are NOT the problem! Chicago Gangs are families to each other! GD’s have family in Mafia, in Undertaker, Insanes, etc., and vice versa.. These people do time together and when they get out of jail, are like brothers on the street. Police know this. Every block I know in Chicago, has a mix of people from different gangs socializing. When beef starts, its not bcz one Gd and one vice lord. And they can be from the same gang. Are you kidding me police act like they dont know this?

    When you see such devastation as I, when at 15 yrs old I got off a bus from the private/catholic schools that my family paid and didn’t get a welfare check for, and have to step over the dead bodies in front of my house, of two young teenage boys laying dead on the streets of Chicago with their eyes open, I cant cowardly retreat now at the threat of my life; or some lunatic making ignorant statements about black people, thats a typing coward at home, from a different culture and race. If you take comfort in these insulting comments, to black persons living in these areas, outside of your evilness, you don’t experience any knowing of anything more that is occurring or has occurred. I suggest you bask in your ignorance of the inexperience. But leave such forums to people that can get to the root of this evil, instead of a mirage of your kinds evilness to people of a kind. You can not desecrate my people as a race, or my experience of striving through such poignant images of hopelessness. This is not for you. This is not your platform.

    Anyway, regardless of the reason, Chicago has to be policed now like it is a torn 3rd world country. Ask yourself… How could a beautiful city such as Chicago, that is so rich and full of life, have so much violence over a holiday weekend??? One fact is … NOBODY honors police! or their feeble attempts to do what is called protect and serve!

    I bet the chief didn’t think of that. Let alone imagine that! Instead, high, now even middle-poverty areas understand police are inadequate, unable to logically process information; then, are inefficient with assessing and processing possible, or even KNOWN REPEAT ISSUES. They don’t know whats going on and his speech proves he is now just buffoonish almost mockery. Because, not only you say it is a gang issue, but you also stated “Repeat offenders, aggressors”? So this is a court/judge fault? By letting them back out? I have a solution. DO YOUR JOB! make sure they are arrested with facts, evidence, you do your police work. make it stick. Judges convict off evidence, not what you feel. believe, say,.. not what your word is. So I blame you. I’d say the prosecutors, but I am 1000% sure they included all of your supporting evidence for repeat. Hope you’re not just referencing repeat callers. That too would be your fault. One person should not have to repeat call re. the same civil/criminal violation without your initial action the first time.

    Chief, your officers, from evidence I’ve personally witnessed, are completely not understanding set drivers and either deliberately, blindingly, unintelligibly, allow the repeat, as they go back in the precinct, or home, or some other a different direction, asking for no support from community for help in understanding, which is rendering them inept to effectively deal in the community. They just can’t handle this. And they talk as if they know everything, dont want to ask in seeming genuine, so they never get random, good information. As if they are recluse.

    I’ve seen too often that they cant/dont want to handle it, aren’t manned, and dont have or want or use their proper resources and/or guidelines. Only codes they know are 187?

    I bet $1,000 Gary McCarthy has not or would not dare to man these streets, if he had a car full of “hitters”. At least a week on the beat I ask. No one has ever seen him on the west-side, of course, except rallies. We lead by example! If he think Chicago is going to fill in, they most certainly will, just dont think it will be without violence and done the way a leader would incite. It will be all personal will.

    So this is why it has continued past the 20 yrs ago I walked over dead bodies to get to my home. Everyone talks. Don’t do. Wait for the next reign to try something drastically different. when each year, without weather phenomena, it gets worst.

    This is not really rocket science; more-so, middle school science. It requires study, the use of given, allowed resources. The communities CAN NOT resolve any of this. Nor it’s leaders! They shouldn’t have to and may be as scared as you are to visit, discuss, sit down with, others in the community. I’m sure you can tell. So No more marches, no more end the gun violence rallies, NO!!!!

    Get your men some help Rahm. They’re ineffective and waste less of every Chicago taxpayer. Those homeowners. Those black business owners. They can’t operate the way you allow your police. The elderly. They cant sit on their own porch without hearing Gun Shots!!! They’re too old to keep playing your old tricks of Run! Duck! Hide! oh. and Rahm, it is highly known and reported, the police do not respect you either. So now you may understand what the poverty area feels like when dealing with them, unconcern, careless behaviors that cause tension. Nobody is up to having to call the police. Theyd rather take action into their own hands.

    I suggest you make them respect you though Rahm, while even they dont respect the community they police for their proactive voices. Do something. But, don’t let them fool you that they’re doing everything because they are not. They do everything but think on demand! except in extreme cases where they have to shoot and it becomes themselves, (fighting for their lives)?

    I hear them passing the buck. Stating that it is the Guns. Gangs. Blacks. What It is is their blatant and proposed ignorance. Their pompousness in not wanting to know whats going on right under their nose. unable to learn the area and police the people in that culture. Whom they work for. Therefore, even your own police are not innocent from crime, nor better yet, are even ethical. These are the people we pay to police us? Then you say, only police and gang members are to have guns? you people must be crazy. and illogical. because WE ALL NEED GUNS! not just the police and criminals anymore because each are reckless and shameful. You see whats happening now that the offenders and officers are all who has the guns! thanks to the prior GUN LAWS, the past generations of police ive seen are unable to effect this as it stands. This is not new, but worsening because everyone is waiting in ignorance. More and more CHILDREN are being gunned down…

    ah the Sense… Where will it come from? Don’t look to the streets. Unless you are willing to meet with persons from the area. not just one, two, but lots of meets, with the people, a widespread reach for understanding to look at what police can do, not who they can blame.

    If I did a job who’s results were always anothers’ responsibility, why should I get paid? Take a look at yourself first, then look external. If not, bring in the State, National, but it is now out of city hands. No more good cop bad cop. we need a standard cop.

  • The root cause

    It is everybodies responsibility.

    The root causes are.

    High unemployment.

    High taxes.

    High cost of the prices of food, gas, utility bills, high cost of housing.

    Both parents working or single parent working.

    Parent(s) in jail.

    Not enough neighbors involved in cleaning up their neighborhood.

    Neighbors not calling the police when they see criminal activity.

    NOT enough POLiCE on the streets.

    All TALK from the current
    Mayor And Police Chief pushing their private agendas and not enough action.

  • Dick Beninya

    If you want to “suspend” the constitution to solve your problem….please suspend the part that allows these criminals to hang out and take over the neighborhood. Don’t “suspend” the part that allows lawful people to defend themselves against these criminals.

  • Southsider

    I lived on the Southside my whole life. I’ve seen stuff that only vets should’ve seen. I’m also a vet so I can make that comparison. 1st, the people that think this is all gang violence don’t know what they’re talking about and are part of the problem and not the solution. A lot of the shootings are over personal beefs and most of the people just happen to be affiliated with a gang faction. I’ve never been in a gang but b/c of where I’m from and my friends that makes me affiliated. This doesn’t mean that none of the shootings aren’t gang related b/c a lot are but not all. If you don’t understand whats happening on these streets then how can you devise a suitable plan. This is why you need people who know Chicago streets in and out to lead our city gov’t and police force. I’ve been blessed enough to have lived and visited almost every major city in the US. Cities like Philly, B-more, Atl, Miami, LA, Memphis, etc all have major gun violence issues but Chicago is on another level when it comes to violence. This is why I say outsiders can’t comprehend Chicago. Gun laws should be tweaked but that’s not the answer. The police are not equipped to handle this much nonsense. Cops flood one area that leaves another area open. Police need more officers and their priorities need to change. In the end what will curve all this violence is us, the citizens. We can stop this stuff easily by banding together in an aggressive pursuit of a common goal which is Peace and Respect. But the sad thing is I’ve lost faith that this will ever happen b/c people will have to change themselves in order to become 1.

  • Bill Otten

    I have said it before, & I will continue to say it: I don’t believe for a second that there are people who DON’T know who the shooters are. Until the people who live in these areas turn them in, this will continue to happen, & no amount of police can stop it. And as for the argument of “gang retaliation”-the people in these areas HAVE,,,,,NO…….CHOICE about what is the right thing to do! The cops can’t do anything UNLESS people come forward! It’s THEIR choice-not the city’s-not the cops-NOT Emanuel’s-THEIR CHOICE! AS long as these people who live in the areas DON’T turn in these shooters-NOTHING……..WILL………CHANGE!

    Reverend Jesse Jackson? Just is he a “reverend of? What church does he “reverend”? I’ve known about Jackson for years, & I have never heard of him “reverending” ANY church? He’s nothing but a “photo-ops” hog.

  • le

    Bill. Lets talk. You are correct. In small instances, some DO know who the shooters are. May even give police a name. Where the police go with the info, no one knows. Ive seen known killers walking the streets, years. Take what the superintendent said, a guy just killed someone and was already a suspect in a previous murder? Gathering enough evidene to convict IS the police responsibility. unfortunately, if you do not work with the community to gather info, in genuineness, any proposed efforts would be a dismal impact, and they might as well throw a penny in a wishing well to get people like this off the street. They have to do due diligence, gather enough evidence to get a warrant, and make it stick. I agree this kind of person shouldn’t be back on the streets. But I do Not agree police dont have witnesse nor have done everything they could. Without proper motivation, intelligence, ethically driven compassion for the people, police will continue these shock and awe news antics every summer, including make believe and false tales.

    I say this, start from the top and middle and bottom, and fire them all. they are becoming more and more the problem and are now responsible for the death of at least more than half of those violent crimes. The other part is given for things beyond anyones control. this other portion would be allowed, for a balance; a balance to what can be done over what cant be overcome, to prevent violence. Police cant be perfect. But they cant be so far as irresponsible for some of this. Now that I wont buy that bcz in most cases, its 1. they don’t act on the information or cant assess properly, 2. are unable to prosecute with lack of evidence, i.e., followed leads to find weapons, assailants, etc. 3. they dont use the information from the people which requires listening through to understanding, or 4., cant get cooperation because they dont “co-operate” with the community.Instead, they waste time, resources, man power and effort on getting the “big guy”, to advance their credentials. They have quotas to meet. It is of revenue not life savings.

    NOONE from the community, except those apart of a political rally that are not “in deep”, will even want to talk to police. at best. Instead, people are manning themselves and their families.

    So again. It is the police responsibility; but the only problem, due to their climate of apparent willful neglect or disassociation, nothing will be unraveled, unearthed, understood until they band with the community and include the civil work in what they do. Not just the criminal.

    So.. the cops can do something to make people come forward. Their jobs. Let me ask you, if you knew your life would be in danger for “ratting” because the cops are ineffective with making a case stick and the person would be back on the streets, would you tell? Would you tell a cop someone’s killer knowing the cop is, either willing or by ineptness, or by not being resourceful, unable to protect you, your family, and would be able to keep these people off the streets? Think Long. Im sure your answer would not result in the jeopardy, at any kind, of yourself or family. The superintendent himself said “I dont know why he is back on the streets”.even the courts are upset police pass the buck to them.

    Think people. Sit in the think box.

    Re: Reverend Jesse Jackson. Baptist church has reverends. Catholics have priest. As a reverend, priest, pastor, spiritual leader for any denomination, they aren’t required to have one main church facility to minister to a people. Rev. Jackson has operated this way for years, so I understand from your inquiry, why it would appear to you that he’s nothing but a “photo-ops” hog. His platform is National, even worldwide. Ministers of this nature can not operate in one facility. Instead it would need a broadcast, or video stream.


    Surely these people who don’t care about laws “forbidding shooting other people” will respond to harsher gun restrictions!

    • le

      I agree with you. Its as if they are inciting transgressors. if they wont give you the gun, you cant take it from them, why continue the theme that “I want your illegal weapon”? There is so obviously another answer.

  • le

    mccarthy said “Possession of a loaded firearm — it’s not even considered a violent felony in the state of Illinois for sentencing purposes — which is why you see the revolving door,”

    if he thinks Chicago crime is because of guns, he should be fired. It is a constitutional right to bear arms so it should be a revolving door should you a. have used as for self defense, legal or non legal possession, b. have a loaded weapon, fortunately now allowed by law with conceal and carry, and shoot an aggressor of your life. I just dont know whos buying his excuse its guns. its not. its civil disorder. civil unrest. police incite this. plain and simple. They cant manage themselves, let alone the people, with their lack of perseverance, and/or following through. Instead, theyre basking in this ignorance and others of the kind, against the people they work for.

    Now, if he said “illegal possession”, id say think of it this way, if you as police cant protect a small area in Chicago, the people will. This does not criminalize their intent. you should neither. not for those that want to protect their families with no prior mental history or physical abuse. Prior to this year, we weren’t allowed handguns legally in Chicago. During that time, I had a friend whos brother was killed and he had an illegal gun for protection. On the way to the funeral, he was arrested with the loaded weapon, unable to attend his own little brothers funeral. I am aware of a multitude of others that were killed along with his brother in the area during that deadly summer, and their lives WERE in danger. They did NEED protection. All those people were gunned down and killed. People are still “missing” to this day; so, i understand why he felt like he needed to protect himself, because he did. You cant bring a knife to a gun fight. How could you say he should not protect himself? In a war that no national or city army was able to end? I personally KNOW he is not an aggressor, but I also know he wouldn’t sit back and let himself be killed. Police act like they dont know whats going on and its leading this vicious cycle; either way, guns are now an absolute necessity for protection. Lawful or unlawful. Its just the climate. no-one on earth, is going to stand back and not “kill or be killed” Seriously. Mohammed Ghandi? King jr.? Those measures will not work today for the people, but police it will. a civil function.

    na.. guns now cant only be for the police protection or for criminals wanting it for protection during their transgressions. Now that would be against the current human interest in Chicago, or human nature even. I wont mention constitution.

  • Thought I smelled garbage in this hot weather

    You again?
    You can ‘t hide you racist low life garbage.
    Put yourself in a garbage bag and wait for garbage pick up day. POS

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