After a warm Easter weekend marred by what Mayor Rahm Emanuel called “senseless, meaningless violence,” the mayor Monday called on Chicagoans to get involved in ending the carnage.
“Nobody’s immune from accountability,” he said after an unrelated event on school programs.
Eight people died and 37 were wounded in shootings over the weekend, including five children injured a drive-by shooting Sunday night in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.
Noting how the beautiful weather on Easter brought people out to the lake, parks and restaurants, Emanuel said “that’s what should be expected for every child, and [Sunday] ended with five girls not having that experience. Their adolescence will never be the same because a car pulled up and they got shot. “
Emanuel railed against the “no-snitch” code and said the mother of one of Sunday’s victims told him that the community needs to speak and stand up.
“It’s whether you have values. Yes, weather has an impact, where you put police has an impact, whether you have summer jobs … you also need a community,” the mayor said.
It’s time to have discussions that are “not politically convenient,” he said.
“We also have to have a conversation about the role parents play in raising their children. … Values do not matter only in warm weather. They matter every day.”
The mayor’s remarks came hours after Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said his department is ramping up a “comprehensive” and “complicated” strategy to get ahead of Chicago’s gun violence as the typically bloody summer months draw near.
McCarthy and Emanuel attended a graduation ceremony Monday morning for 84 new Chicago police recruits and 100 promoted department members, who McCarthy called “the future of the department.”
“Our success doesn’t have to do with what happens today or tomorrow or what happened last week,” McCarthy said. “It’s really going to be what happens in two years from now.”
He also said the promotions and hirings are critical heading into summer. McCarthy acknowledged the city had, “unfortunately, a bad week,” when asked about the weekend’s violence. But he said his department is trying to understand the disputes leading to the shootings in hopes of preventing and predicting the next one.
“The first-level supervision — sergeants and lieutenants — are critical to the implementation of our crime strategies,” McCarthy said. “So promoting 80 sergeants today is a big step toward that.”
He said the new recruits should be out on the streets by summer.