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Chicago police insist ‘some progress’ in spite of the violent weekend that left 7 dead

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in 2016. The police said: ‘some progress’ has been made in the city, the crime fight.

(REUTERS/Jim Young, File)

CHICAGO – Police gun violence declines this year in Chicago, but it was a different bloody Memorial Day weekend in the city. Seven people were killed and 38 people were shot, according to Chicago police.

This year is the holiday weekend was something more deadly than last year, when six people were killed and 44 were shot, according to the CPD.

In anticipation of the typical increase in violent crime during the warmer months of the Chicago police launched a specialized summer mobile team, adding more than 1,000 officers on the street.

In the run-up to Memorial Day, CPD also conducted raids in cooperation with the federal authorities. The Chicago police say that the raids resulted in at least 100 arrests and 46 guns recovered from the streets.

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Still, Chicago’s Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that the police can only do so much, and he continues to call for stricter sentencing and imprisonment.

“I will not be satisfied until we have zero murders, and zero shooting. But there was some progress, so I’m glad,” Johnson said after the violent weekend.

The Chicago police currently report 46 less homicides of the year in comparison with the same period last year. CPD attributes the decrease to a focus on community policing and ShotSpotter technology — cameras and radar placed atop utility poles that direct the police alert on shots and allows them to track offenders in real-time with the help of 30,000 cameras across the city.

The technology is credited with reducing the shooting with 43 percent last year in Englewood — historically one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on the south side.

Just before the Memorial Day weekend, President Donald Trump once again called out Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for not stopping the city’s murders — that is almost as much as New York and Los Angeles combined.

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The president tweeted, in part, “The murders are at a record pace and tough police work, that Chicago will not allow it, would bring things back to order quickly … the killings must stop!”

Emanuel’s spokesperson responded in a tweet, share, “Chicago is a Trump-Free zone is not a” fact-free zone, and we have a 21% decrease in gun violence in 2017 and 21% decrease in 2018.”

Emanuel and CPD’s superintendent successfully lobbied for a new bill, which took effect on 1 January. It is designed to give stronger sentences to repeat gun offenders.

“If the police executive, it is frustrating for me and the police on the street, if we arrest these people for having illegal firearms, and then we see them back the following week to do — guess what— another illegal firearm,” Johnson said. “That is a frustration for the enforcement of the law, scattered all over the country.”

Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago office. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC

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