“We’ve never seen anything like it, at all,” Max Kapustin, the senior research director at the University of Chicago Crime Lab told the Chicago Sun-Times in a new shocking report published Monday. “I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before.”
The group of University of Chicago researchers have confirmed numbers from Sunday, May 31, which the Crime Lab now says is the single most violent day on historical record: 18 dead and 85 wounded by gunfire. The record was previously at 13 people murdered on a single day on Aug. 4, 1991.
A West Side high school student murdered two hours later.
A man killed amid South Side looting at a cellphone store at 12:30 p.m.
A college freshman who hoped to become a correctional officer, gunned down at 4:25 p.m. after getting into an argument in Englewood.
While Chicago was roiled by another day of protests and looting in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, 18 people were killed Sunday, May 31, making it the single most violent day in Chicago in six decades, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The lab’s data doesn’t go back further than 1961.
A pastor of a local church and community anti-gun violence activist described that it was “open season” last weekend in his neighborhood, giving an eyewitness account of the situation on the South and West sides.
“On Saturday and particularly Sunday, I heard people saying all over, ‘Hey, there’s no police anywhere, police ain’t doing nothing,” Rev. Michael Pfleger, who pastors St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham said. “I sat and watched a store looted for over an hour,” he added.
“No police came. I got in my car and drove around to some other places getting looted [and] didn’t see police anywhere,” Pfleger said.
Most homicide victims in Chicago are young, black men, and the suspects are, too. But murders have fallen significantly in recent years, along with police-involved shootings.
“There were 764 murders and 12 fatal police-involved shootings in 2016, compared with 492 murders and three fatal police-involved shootings last year,” the report adds.
The Chicago Sun-Times told the stories of young men and women who teachers remembered as “positive influences,” such as Mustafa Abdullah, gunned down on May 31 during a drive-by while riding in a targeted vehicle.
Or there’s also eighteen-year old Teyonna Lofton, shot on the day that her family held a ‘socially distanced’ graduation party. Thankfully, she survived, but faces months if not years of rehabilitative therapy:
For Teyonna Lofton, of Gresham, last Sunday started on a high note. The 18-year-old recently finished her senior year at Perspectives Leadership Academy, and her family was holding a socially distanced graduation parade to honor the occasion.
While the day “started off perfect,” a trip to a gas station at the corner of 81st and Racine — a half-mile south of St. Sabina — later that day quickly turned into the most harrowing experience of her young life.
As she waited in line outside the store, an SUV pulled up and someone inside opened fire into the crowd, striking Lofton and two others. Struck near her elbow, Lofton tried repeatedly to call 911 for help.
(1 of 7) This was Teyonna Lofton Sunday morning celebrating her HS graduation with her family at home. She graduated with a 3.4 GPA and is planning to go to college in Louisiana. Sunday afternoon, while trying to buy some water with her friends, she was shot in the arm.
It appears that as police responded en masse to major riots and looting ensuing soon after the horrific footage of the George Floyd killing by Minnesota police went viral, this resulted in other areas of the city spiraling into lawlessness, as well as apparently victims being disregard by city emergency response units.
Despite the gunshot wound which threatened her life, Teyonna Lofton said police and EMT assistance were nowhere in sight:
“When I needed help, to call the police and stuff, nobody responded. Nobody answered,” Lofton said. “My mom had to come from home, and we had to get to the hospital.”
On the way to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Lofton peered out her mother’s car window and saw the “madness” that was unfolding outside.
“It was just people jumping out their cars into stores and stealing and looting … Police was letting them do whatever they wanted,” she said.
“They did not care,” Lofton added. “Nobody cared.”
At a moment “Black Lives Matter” chants can be heard overtaking most every major American city, the now weekly reality of dozens tragically dying in black-on-black crime in Chicago and some other large cities (a trend that tends to increase into the hot summer months) remains a huge ‘blind spot’ in terms of the current ideologically charged media debate and public discourse.