Violence and mayhem marred President Barack Obama and his family’s weekend visit to the windy city. Fatalities and injuries from shootings soared into double digits during the Obamas' stay.
Thirty-five people were injured in shootings and at least 7 others lost their lives since Friday, when the Obama’s came to town to attend the wedding of senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett's daughter. The President spent Father's Day golfing with friends during the unusually violent weekend, according to Channel 5 NBC.
The youngest victim was a 16-year-old girl who died after she was shot three times in the chest Saturday evening in the Englewood neighborhood. At least 10 people were shot overnight on Friday followed by shootings that left three dead on Sunday morning. The last victim killed in Chicago was a 19-year-old who was shot dead on the city’s north side.
Violence and death have been the crime theme on Chicago news programs for three weeks. The victims of shootings have numbered in double digits for weeks. Last weekend, 46 people were injured and eight killed across Chicago. The previous weekend, 29 were injured and three were killed in shootings.
"None of it is OK," Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told NBC Chicago last week. "And I don't want it to seem like we're not managing it, but the realistic expectations have to be over the long-term."
Chicago police were offered overtime starting this weekend in an incentive program designed to put more police in neighborhoods where crime is highest. However, less than 60 officers participated in the program. A week earlier, McCarthy said the initiative would entail an additional "couple of hundred officers" working Chicago's neighborhoods, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The sharp uptick in violence on Chicago streets is largely inexplicable, however some officials blame splintered gangs fighting over drug deals gone bad and turf battles. Whatever the reasons, residents in Chicago are not safe from gunfire in their own homes. A pregnant teenager was among at least seven people shot, two of them fatally, in Chicago last Tuesday on the heels of a weekend where at eight people were killed and 45 others wounded by gun violence.
One 17-year-old was blasted by “random” gunfire through the window of her home last week.
Rahm Emanuel, former top aide in the Obama administration, has been mayor of Chicago since February of 2011.