The skyrocketing violent crime that’s plaguing the city of Chicago did not let up over the Fourth of July holiday. Fifty people were shot, including three children, and four people were murdered from Friday through Monday.
These shocking figures are actually an improvement from recent Fourth of Julys, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
“I think in 2014 we had about 16 killed throughout the Fourth of July weekend and that’s just ridiculous, so we are making progress, but it’s not a success yet,” Johnson said. “This goes a long way, I think, to letting everybody know that we are focusing on the right individuals.”
Beginning the Friday before Independence Day, Chicago police with the help of Illinois State Police and the FBI began heavily beefing up its presence with 5,000 officers patrolling the city by land, air and boat.
Police also conducted a series of raids on active warrants and also began a special emphasis targeting the city’s repeat offenders. CPD tells Fox News its investigations have determined that the majority of shootings can be linked to known criminals and gang members who tell police they’ll continue pulling the trigger unless stopped.
“We face historic challenges including repeat offenders who use guns to solve petty issues, make no mistake that CPD is using every tool in its arsenal to ensure the safety of Chicagoans,” Johnson said.
2016 is shaping up to be one of deadliest in Chicago since the 1990s. 338 people have been murdered and thousands shot since January 1st. In the month of June seventy people were killed. Those figures average out to someone being shot roughly every two hours and a person murdered every ten to thirteen hours.
Adding to the perfect storm, Chicago police stop-and-frisks on the streets have plummeted by ninety percent during most of the year. The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President, Dean Angelo, tells Fox News his officers are afraid of being called racist, lawsuits or internet videos that might appear to incriminate them.
“No one’s not going to do their job, no one’s not going to a call of shots fired. We go towards the gunfire, we will continue to do that,” Angelo told Fox News. “It’s the above and beyond type of activity that officers were engaged in that we may not see at that same level ever again.”
Angelo said his officers also had their hands tied by the city’s exclusive new agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union that requires officers to fill out a contact card after each and every engagement on the street from an ID check to arrest. Angelo says the burdensome cards make officers think twice about simple engagements and also worry the statistics from the cards could be used against them.
The ACLU told Fox News in the summer of 2014 Chicago police made 250,000 unwarranted stop and frisks that resulted in no tickets or arrests. The new agreement with CPD is an effort to stop any type of racial profiling.
The University of Chicago Crime Lab intensely studies and analyzes the city’s crime and concludes in part that the city’s extreme bloodshed is the result of combining a high level of gun carrying, mixed with impulsive behavior and drug use.
The crime lab determined the average gun carrier has a mental knowledge that peaked at 17 years old. It also concluded most gun carriers are packing for protection and find themselves in a situation where they feel the need to shoot.
Cook County courts and prosecutors also face criticism that they're weak on criminals who shoot.
Last week three Illinois lawmakers announced new legislation what would be prevent repeat offenders from returning to the streets before they serve adequate time.
Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC