A 24-year-old woman became Uptown’s third homicide victim of the year overnight, shot dead as she sat in a vehicle on Broadway, about a block north of Montrose.
Incredibly, the gunfire was heard over a mile away by officers sitting outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home.
Things are not looking good for Uptown, which recorded five homicides for all of last year and only one in 2013. The neighborhood has also racked up four non-fatal shootings this year, compared to two at this time last year and one in 2013.
And judging from recent statements to the press by elected officials, there’s no reason to expect any improvement in police staffing for the 19th district, which protects Lakeview, Uptown, North Center, and parts of Lincoln Park.
Less than three weeks ago, Emanuel told DNAInfo Chicago that the city had “clamped as much as we can,” on gangs in Uptown.
Newly re-elected Uptown Alderman James Cappleman seems to have changed the way he measures success—ignoring the increase in dead bodies to instead claim that “gangs are down.” From the April 3 Chicago Reader:
“Ten years ago, we had five gangs and they were selling drugs like a lemonade stand and we were seeing massive amounts of fighting in the middle of the street,” says Cappleman. Now only two gangs fight for turf in the ward, he says. “We are now seeing gang members who feel threatened they will go extinct.”
Even Wrigleyville and Boystown Alderman Tom Tunney seems to be saying that everyone just needs to get used to not having cops, telling DNAINfo last weekend,
What I’ve always believed is there are enough police officers, they’re just not always there at the time of day you think you need them. But that’s a management issue, and I don’t walk in their shoes.
He always believed there are enough officers? That’s weird. On January 16, Tunney promised that the 27% reduction in police manpower that we’ve suffered since 2012 would be reversed:
One of my top priorities in 2014 was to increase the number of officers in the 19th District. I worked closely with the Chicago Police Department on this and they responded to my requests…and [the district] continue[s] to receive new officers every month. This will continue until we are back to the staffing level that we were prior to the consolidation of the 19th and 23rd districts.
Despite the assurances of Tunney, Cappleman, and other city leaders, the Chicago Police Department itself reports that manpower in our district actually went down last year, and currently sits at a record low level.
No officers have been allowed to transfer into the district since Tunney’s re-election in February.
Get over it.