The official start of summer — Memorial Day weekend — was a deadly one in Chicago with 40 shootings that claimed 10 lives. At a press conference Tuesday in Washington Park, following the violent four-day holiday weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Supt. Garry McCarthy outlined a plan to combat the gun violence they say is mostly gang related.
The Chicago Police Department will be ramping up its Gang Violence Reduction Strategy. The mayor announced that through coordinated communications, city agencies across the board will be providing information to CPD as part of its policing efforts.
The mayor said the city would work to shut down corner and convenience stores identified as havens for gangs and criminal activity. The mayor called the stores “cancer” to the neighborhood.
McCarthy blamed, in part, a “proliferation of firearms” for the gun violence the city continues to see. He added that police would be working proactively to quash retaliation shootings by warring gangs.
“If we don’t have a method to get out in front of (retaliation shootings) … it’s just going to continue,” the police chief said Tuesday.
McCarthy, who recently marked one year on the job as Chicago’s top cop, said his department’s gang and gun violence reduction strategy also includes the use of some new technology that will put gang information, including rivals and beefs, a few mouse clicks and keystrokes away for beat cops.
McCarthy and one of his deputies walked reporters through a demo of the new Caboodle software CPD is rolling out. The “groundbreaking” and interactive database of fingertip-pertinent information on known gang members, drug dealers, and their associates allows police to quickly call up mug shots, arrest information, outstanding warrants and other data. Police would then be able to move quickly to try to diffuse or intercept payback attacks.
The violence stretched into Tuesday morning where a teen on the North Side was shot in the face while eating pizza with his sister. He died at the hospital shortly after being shot.
By Rhonda Gillespie