CHICAGO (CBS) — The coronavirus pandemic is not only straining resources in Chicago hospitals but also on the streets. Despite the stay-at-home order, police responded to 19 shootings Tuesday night, six of which were homicides.
Overall crime was down in the last week, but robberies and shootings were up. The Chicago Police Department superintendent said the violence is draining the department’s resources that should be used to fight against COVID-19.
Tooth brushes, deodorant and toilet paper are packed in to ziplock bags and passed out on the street in West Garfield Park because the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago hopes providing those essentials will encourage residents to stay home.
“Not everyone is heeding it,” said Teny Gross, executive director at the institute. “So many young people have not.”
“In one ear and out the other,” said Shelbe Brown, with the institute.
Gross and Brown spent Tuesday evening responding to shootings.
“Yesterday was a horrific night,” said Gross. “The violence is not going down as much as it should.”
Six people were killed in shootings across the city. That follows a trend from last week.
According to data analyzed by the CBS2 Investigators, shootings were up 42% from the same week last year, from 28 shootings to 40.
“We’re fighting the pandemic, and we’re fighting the epidemic,” said Tony Raggs with the Alliance of Local Service Organizations. “The epidemic being violence.”
CPD data shows that last week, robberies were on the rise, too. Meanwhile Wednesday, the area near Madison and Kostner was bustling with groups gathering on the sidewalk — business as usual.
Gross said drug trafficking appears to being thriving despite the stay-at-home mandate.
“You don’t become cured out of your addiction just because now there is a virus,” he said. “And when there is addiction and demand that means there will be supply as well.”
So now they’re focusing their efforts into a full-fledged public health campaign.
“We know what’s up, and we need everyone to act on that,” he said.
Interim Supt. Beck said CPD dispersed more than 300 groups Tuesday night across the city.
There was a significant drop in criminal sexual assault and theft across the city last week.
CBS 2 will continue to track this crime data throughout the pandemic to get a full picture.