|Just before World War II, Chicago was a 91 percent white city. Today, almost all murder and gun crime is courtesy of Chicago's non-white population|
A year after this city drew new attention for soaring gun violence and gang bloodshed, creating a political test for Mayor Rahm Emanuel in President Obama’s hometown, Chicago has witnessed a drop in shootings and crime. Killings this year have dipped to a level not seen since the early 1960s.
As of Sunday night, 146 people had been killed in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city — 76 fewer than in the same stretch in 2012 and 16 fewer than in 2011, a year that was among the lowest for homicides during the same period in 50 years.
In recent months, as many as 400 officers a day, working overtime, have been dispatched to just 20 small zones deemed the city’s most dangerous. The police say they are tamping down retaliatory shootings between gang factions by using a comprehensive analysis of the city’s tens of thousands of suspected gang members, the turf they claim and their rivalries. The police are also focusing on more than 400 people they have identified as having associations that make them the most likely to be involved in a murder, as a victim or an offender.Critics question whether the city can continue to pay for the added police presence. By the end of April, $31.9 million of the $38 million set aside in the city budget for police overtime for the year had been spent, city records show.
Leaders of the police union, who describe some of the current efforts as “smoke and mirrors,” caution that the dismal statistics of 2012 are being used to paint a falsely upbeat picture of 2013, and say they doubt such intense policing efforts are financially sustainable in any major city without expanding the force.
“It seems a little soon to know whether this is a long-term trend,” said Jens Ludwig, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. “I think everyone in Chicago hopes it is very much a trend. I wouldn’t pop the Champagne yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
|Understand why Jim Crow existed? (Courtesy: HeyJackass.com)|
Instead, let's get ready to put more bodies on ice [Ambulance drives into West Side shootout, Chicago Tribune, June 8, 2013]:
An ambulance happened upon a West Side shootout early Saturday morning that left two men in critical condition.
The ambulance was eastbound about 12:15 a.m. in the 3500 block of West Lake Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood -- not responding to a call -- when the paramedics saw men ducking behind cars and firing guns, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said from outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County overnight.
Paramedics called a "10-1" over the radio, a term used to signal that a police officer, paramedic or firefighter is in distress and in immediate need of help.
"There were definitely bullets flying," Langford said.
Other responding firefighters and ambulances were told to hang back until the shooting stopped, Langford said.
"We have to hold until police get there, it's not safe," Langford said. "They called for help and police responded."
Two men were shot -- one in the head, the other in the chest -- and both taken to Stroger hospital. The ambulance that rolled into the scene was one of two that ended up transporting the men shot.Yeah -- no need for champagne in Chicago.