CHICAGO — Chicago’s murder rate plummeted in February: Was it the recent snowy weather, good police work … or, perhaps, divine intervention?
The folks at Salem Baptist Church Of Chicago issued a press release on Friday, contending it was an answer to the prayers of their senior pastor, James Meeks.
January was a very deadly month in Chicago–with 41 murders. In February, there were 14.
During a bible class on Feb. 6 at the House Of Hope on the South Side, Meeks said he was “not afraid” to ask God to reverse the January number.
“I would be afraid because I’m not big enough to bind the spirit by myself but I am not afraid in this room right now that we collectively bind this spirit of violence…,” said Meeks.
“This might be one of the most boldest prayers that we have ever prayed. We didn’t have a month last year where under 14 people were killed. But I believe that God is going to do it. I believe that this is going to be the month – some things come only by fasting and praying.”
Chicago Police on Friday said the 14 murders in the month of February was the lowest since the 1950s.
Art Lurigio, a criminologist at Loyola University told the Sun-Times, said those reasons may well include stepped-up police efforts to tackle homicides, but the drop in murders last month might also have to do with the national spotlight aimed at Chicago, following the slaying of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton in January less than a mile from President Barack Obama’s Kenwood mansion.
Recently, the police department shifted 200 police officers from desk jobs to street duty.