CHICAGO (CBS) — Hours before shootings wounded a 7-year-old girl on East 79th Street, a man sitting on a Green Line train who was not the intended target in Washington Park, and lastly a 1-month-old baby girl in Englewood, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown issued a letter offering a little help to officers on what could be a violent July 4th Holiday weekend.
Designated Chicago Transit Authority buses will be used to transport CPD members to and from what Brown called “break locations.” But the officers will be busy and working long days as Chicago Police execute a plan to keep us safe this weekend.READ MORE: 1-Year-Old Boy, 19-Year-Old Man Shot In Gary, Indiana
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar asked residents Thursday night what they thought of the plan.
Most days, you can find Joseph Parker near the intersection of 63rd Street and Artesian Avenue in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood — he lives just blocks away.
Presently, there are candles lined up against a business to remember the 11 people who were shot there late Sunday night. One woman died.
“You don’t got to be doing nothing to get shot,” Parker said. “You could just be outside — kids getting shot, grandmas getting shot.”
Parker’s own life changed instantly from gun violence 11 years ago. It is why he now has to use a wheelchair.
“I got shot. I got paralyzed. It ain’t a good thing It ain’t a good feeling,” he said. “I’m paralyzed from the waist down.”
Hours before the mass shooting on 63rd Street, there was another at 71st Street and Clyde Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood. Six people were shot in that incident, and one, a woman, was also killed.READ MORE: Law To Allow Permanent No-Contact Orders In Sex Convictions
That is why Supt. Brown is laying out his crime strategy going into the July 4th weekend. Officers are moving to 12-hour shifts starting Friday, and all days off Friday through Monday are canceled.
“Whatever his plan is, I hope it’s to keep the city safe, you know what I’m saying – stop all this violence,” Parker said.
Brown revealed that June 2021 saw a double-digit decrease in murders compared to June 2020, marking it – the third month in a row that Chicago saw a decrease
But last year during the pandemic, homicides spiked dramatically in 2020. This year’s year-to-date shootings and murders when compared to recent years before the pandemic — in 2018 and 2019 — are still significantly higher.
From January through June 2018, there were 263 homicides, and there were 246 for the same period in 2019. But in 2020, that number jumped to 338, and in 2021, it is down only six to 332.
“No one’s here bragging, boasting, or satisfied for that matter,” Brown said. “We’d love to be back on momentum of the 2019 decline, but we’re grinding our way with progress.”
Parker says above all, safety is on his mind this holiday weekend.
“I feel like it ain’t fair,” he said. “I feel a like a lot of dudes be getting cheated out of their life, like, because they be innocent, and it’s just the wrong place wrong time.”MORE NEWS: Arab Americans in Illinois Will Finally Be Counted When They Get Their Vaccine
Supt. Brown has agreed to meet with several aldermen on Friday to answer questions about the plan and strategy going into the weekend. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls the meeting nothing more than political theater.