Chicago has suffered 1,382 shootings so far this year—478 more than this time last year.
Of the 1,382 shootings, 244 people died—up almost 100 from last year’s 157 fatal shootings.
The summer months have traditionally been the city’s most violent period, and now officials are preparing for the worst, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
The Tribune, citing Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson, said the department will not tolerate violence this summer, but revealed no further details into their plans for the upcoming months.
Five fatal shootings occurred over this past weekend—40 more were wounded. Over Mother’s Day weekend, just two weeks ago, 8 people were killed and 42 were wounded, according to the Tribune. On Saturday, May 21, in just one hour, 9 people were shot; one killed.
On May 14, the Chicago Police Department hosted a “Gun Turn-In” event. During the four-hour amnesty invitational, police exchanged $100 gift cards for each gun, and $10 gift cards for each bb-gun, air-gun, or firearm replica—no questions asked.
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) May 19, 2016
Put the Guns Down
Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called on Chicago residents, community organizations, block clubs, faith groups, businesses, institutions, etc. for a citywide “Put the Guns Down” day. On May 27, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. everyone in the city is invited to participate. “Every block, every street, every neighborhood should be involved!” the statement said.
Some of the options included: Barbecue, neighborhood walk, neighborhood clean-up, prayer groups, sports/activities for youth, rally, wellness checks of seniors, block club party, choir performance, outdoor church/tent service, and positive loitering (standing on a corner).
The aim of the event is to show “PRESENCE and SOLIDARITY across Chicago so we can take our Streets and create a safer and more peaceful city!” according the the event website.