Chicago’s weekend bloodshed included nine murders and 56 shooting victims – but the violence didn’t stop there, as an alderman visiting a known "problem corner" was assaulted by a group of men who appeared intoxicated and high on illicit drugs.
From 6 p.m. Friday to just before midnight Sunday night, Chicago police recorded 46 shooting incidents, involving 56 victims. Nine murders were recorded during that time.
A 3-year-old boy was among the shooting victims. The child was shot in the back at 10:45 a.m. Saturday in the 9300 block of South Escanaba Avenue on the South Side in what police believe to be an accident, the Chicago Sun Times reported. The child was hospitalized in good condition.
The most gun violence happened within a four-hour time frame Saturday morning when five people were killed. Among them were two men, 34-year-old Charles Jackson Jr. and a yet-to-be identified 29-year-old victim, who were struck and killed in a drive-by shooting in Lawndale on the West Side. Police said someone in a red vehicle at about 12:15 a.m. opened fire in the 1900 block of South Saint Louis Avenue.
There was also an officer-involved shooting at 10:55 a.m. Sunday, as Chicago police responded to a "domestic disturbance" in the 6500 block of South Harvard. Responding officers encountered a male armed with a knife, and an officer discharged his service weapon, striking a 28-year-old man, who later died. The officers involved were placed on routine administrative duty pending further investigation.
On Saturday night, Alderman James Cappleman of the 46th Ward "was the victim of a battery" in the 4700 block of North Racine in Chicago police’s 9th District – Town Hall, police spokesman Tom Ahern confirmed in a tweet. Ahern said the alderman refused medical treatment, and a suspect was taken into custody as charges are pending. No other information was released as Area 3 detectives investigate.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Cappleman described how he was put in a headlock and struck repeatedly with a piece of a broken table after coming to the corner of Racine and Leland avenues, where young families have complained to him about a disruptive group that has spent the past few weeks gathering outside on upside garbage cans turned into seats drinking and doing drugs.
"In the past two weeks, it’s just gotten out of control again. And the problem is when you can get them to leave one corner they just go to the next corner," Cappleman said. "I talked to this guy and I said, ‘This can’t keep going on. Residents are rightly upset about this.’ They are out there just drinking nonstop and drugging and that kind of stuff. It’s caused a lot of concern to the community."
He’s growing frustrated about those struggling with addiction, as offenders arrested by police officers are often just released back on the streets.
"We’re going to see what we can do to get this guy this help. But how do you help someone who is refusing help to address their addiction?" he said. "I know it’s not just arresting them because arrests don’t always matter. When you’re released from Cook County Jail, you go right back to the streets."
Cappleman said he’s visited the area periodically to collect information before calling police. He said his husband, Richard, had come to the corner earlier Saturday to remove the garbage cans. Cappleman removed a table that was sitting in the middle of the sidewalk and turned around the corner when he was met by a group of at least eight men lying on the ground. One noticed the table, and at least three of the men then attacked Capplemen, who was placed in a headlock and struck with a blunt force object believed to be a piece of the table, which broke in half during the melee.
"He could’ve had a knife," Cappleman said. "That’s not the way I want to die."
Cappleman said he recognized the men from prior arrests in the neighborhood.
"We can’t arrest ourselves out of this," Cappleman said. "For most humans, for most living creatures, we respond to negative and positive reinforcement. It can’t be all negative, but it can’t be all positive. We have to find that right balance. And we know we’ve found the right balance when it produces the intended result. For this guy, we’ve not found that right balance."
Because Cappleman is a public servant who was carrying out duties related to his job, the assailants could face a felony charge, according to the Tribune.