The streets of Chicago may be largely empty as residents hunker down from coronavirus but some of the city’s most deprived neighborhoods are still echoing to the sound of deadly gunfire and raucous partying.
While significant falls in crime have been one of the few positive side effects of lockdowns in much of the United States and elsewhere, they have barely made a dent in the homicide rate in Chicago, a city that has long recorded the most murders in the country.
Chicago police say 56 murders were committed in April despite statewide stay-at-home orders — only a fraction lower than the 61 for the same month in 2019 — while last weekend, the first of the new month, four people were killed and 46 others shot and wounded.
New York by contrast, a city with a population almost three times that of Chicago, saw 31 homicides in April. Los Angeles, the second biggest city in the US, saw just 18 murders over a four-week period from late March.
Twenty-one of the weekend’s victims were shot in a seven-hour period from Saturday night to Sunday, including five teenagers wounded in a drive-by shooting at a party on the city’s West Side.