Chicago, IL – Chicago police have been making arrests for felony gun charges among a spike in shootings, only to see judges quickly release the suspects on bond.
This past weekend, 56 illegal guns were taken off the city streets by Chicago police officers, Chicago Police Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.
The prior weekend, officers made 53 felony arrests on gun charges in the violence-plagued city.
Despite the fact many of the charges were for serious offenses – aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, armed habitual criminal, aggravated discharge, and felon in possession/use of a firearm, for example – Guglielmi said more than half of the offenders had been released on bond before the start of the next weekend.
Thirty of the people arrested – 57 percent of arrestees – spent less than a week in jail.
Newly-elected Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson promised they would be “flooding the zone” and saturating the city with additional police patrols as the summer began, but despite best efforts by city leaders and police, Memorial Day weekend left 43 people wounded and five people dead from gunfire in the city.
Chicago police vowed to put even more officers on the streets to curb the violence.
"While we don't comment on specifics in terms of officer deployments, we have positioned saturation and tactical teams in areas of the city that we are addressing ongoing gang conflicts that are contributing to recent violence," Anthony Guglielmi told ABC News.
"Additionally, there will be heavy saturation patrols along Lake Shore Drive and major thoroughfares beginning Friday and through the weekend. Supplemental summer patrols were also deployed in neighborhoods across the south and west side of the city," Guglielmi said.
But despite the extreme efforts by the police department, the very next weekend was the most violent weekend thus far in 2019.
Fifty-two people were shot and 10 people were killed between Friday and Sunday evenings in the first weekend of June.
Two of the people who were killed were stabbed to death, USA Today reported.
Shootings, and violence in general, historically climb with the temperatures in Chicago, and the city looks to be on track for keeping the tradition in 2019 despite the fact that there was a 13 percent decrease in shootings and 7 percent fewer murders in the city prior to Memorial Day weekend, according to ABC News.
The mayor, a former federal prosecutor, has vowed to restore “safety and peace in our neighborhoods.”
At the start of summer, Lightfoot established “Accountability Mondays” to meet with police officials and administration leadership to review the Chicago crime statistics from the prior weekend.
The new mayor said she has no plans at this point to switch up the leadership of the Chicago Police Department and that Superintendent Johnson’s job is not in jeopardy, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Shortly after summer began, Superintendent Johnson blamed lax gun laws and a too-lenient court system that allows gun offenders to get out of jail for much of the violence in the city.
“Until we stop giving them [gun offenders] the sense that they can do this with impunity, then we are going to continue to have these press conferences,” he said.
“We know who a lot of these people are,” Superintendent Johnson told reporters. “And how do we know that? Because we keep arresting them over and over and over and over again. And it’s just a vicious cycle. So until we hold violent offenders accountable in the way that they should be, we’re going to continue to see this.”