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McCarthy On Chicago Violence: ‘We’re Struggling In The Month Of August’

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Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on the CBS 2 morning news. (CBS)

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on the CBS 2 morning news. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s another Monday morning after another weekend of violence in Chicago, but this morning, a situation that appeared to be getting better is only getting worse.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports Police Supt. Garry McCarthy acknowledged August has been extremely rough, with at least 51 murders so far – tied with May for the most homicides in Chicago this year.

Over the weekend, nine people were killed in shootings across the city; another 28 were wounded.

McCarthy said his toughest cops are patrolling streets in the worst neighborhoods for violent crime.

“The fact is that we still have unacceptable level of violence here. We’re struggling in the month of August,” he said.

During an interview on the CBS 2 Morning News, McCarthy said – up until August – shootings in Chicago were down for four straight months.

“We compare month to month. So, last August we had basically the best August in the city in 30 years. The numbers were unbelievably low, but that’s not an excuse,” McCarthy said.

He admitted, for every few steps forward, there seems to be another step back. But he believes his anti-crime strategies are working.

McCarthy said, despite the weekend violence that left nine dead, officers were able to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation near Michigan Avenue.

McCarthy told CBS 2 this morning that about 20 teens were running through a crowd Saturday night, pushing people and then darting into traffic. Officers quickly responded before anyone was hurt.

Over the weekend, police also cracked down on open-air drug sales; police arrested about 300 people, and recovered 100 guns during the crackdown.

“The Chicago P.D., these guys and gals are out there busting their butts,” he said. “They’re not going to work every day, we’re not going to win every day, every week, we’re not going to win and every month, unfortunately. And where flare-ups happen, we get on top of things.”

McCarthy said, with added patrol officers in the Englewood and West Lawndale neighborhoods, things have started changing around. The murder rate in those areas is down 35 percent this year.

“We’re going to turn around those two places. We’re looking at long-term solutions; we’re not looking into just jumping on it, tamping it down, and walking away from it,” McCarthy said.

Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), whose ward includes the Englewood and Chatham neighborhoods, said there have been too many shootings in the ward this year, but he supports McCarthy’s strategies.

Sawyer said he believes, with more patrol officers on the streets, things will get better.

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