CHICAGO — A surge in violent crime marred the Memorial Day weekend in Chicago.
In recent years, the unofficial start to summer has also led to an uptick in street violence in the city.
At least 35 people were wounded in shootings over the weekend. 5 were killed.
Police reform advocate Eric Russell said the high crime numbers underscore a need for change at the police department.
“There is no way the mayor and the superintendent can simply police themselves into curbing the gun violence,” he said. “We are thoroughly disappointed in Mayor Lightfoot for entrusting the curbing of the violence to Supt. Eddie Johnson.”
It was Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first weekend on the job. She was a visible presence at community events and a crime scenes.
“I wanted to understand what had happened. I wanted to be present for the people in the community who were gathered, and I also wanted to show support for our officers who are out there investigating – it’s important for me to be visible,” she said. “This is not a law enforcement only challenge, it’s a challenge for all of us in city government, it’s a challenge for all of us in communities to dig down deeper and ask ourselves what we can do to step up to stem the violence.”
A 25-year-old woman was shot in the neck while she was at a children’s play yard in the 2700 block of North Washtenaw Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
She was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition.
Witnesses said the shots were possibly fired from the expressway. Police found shell casings on the expressway ramp.
No one was taken into custody. It is unclear if it was a stray bullet or if the shooting was targeted.
Police suspect two deadly shootings that left three dead and four others injured in the early hours of Sunday morning were likely connected. There have been arrests and persons of interest questioned in that case, police said.
Russel said he and other activists will stage a protest outside of the mayor’s office Tuesday morning asking her to address the long-standing complaints of aggressive policing on the city’s south and west sides.
Final numbers on the weekend violence are expected laster this week.