Chicago saw its most violent Memorial Day weekend in five years, with 10 people dead and more than 200 guns recovered over the weekend.
The city’s stay-at-home order did little to prevent violent incidents, which included a party in West Englewood where shots were fired, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Tuesday. Officers issued about 300 dispersal orders for groups who violated social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday weekend.
“The effect of the coronavirus also goes beyond hospitalizations,” Brown said. “People are feeling restless after being cooped up for weeks.”
A few different factors likely contributed to the high incidents of violence over the weekend, including rival gang affairs and the impact of the pandemic on jails, Brown said. But the end result contributed to the highest number of incidents since 2015, with 49 people shot, 10 killed, and 86 gun-related arrests.
Brown said the department will adjust its summer strategy and attempt to put more officers on city streets.
Officers are working to disperse crowds that violate social distancing guidelines in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but are also facing the risk that there may be guns in those crowds, according to Fred Waller, chief of operations for the department.
One of the incidents from over the weekend included a party where video captured shots being fired. Waller said officers were responding to reports of a large gathering on Sunday evening when one officer noted an individual with a gun.
After the officers chased that person down and recovered the weapon, shots were fired nearby and a second person was taken into custody.
“Our officers are brave courageous dedicated men and women who are risking their lives, both with exposure to COVID and confronting violent offenders,” Waller said.