Chicago continues to grapple with violent gun crime as the city had seven killings in two days over the holiday weekend. The victims included 7-year-old Amari Brown, hit by a bullet meant for his father, who is a gang-member.
While Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy highlighted on Sunday the "need to repair a broken system," he went on to push for tougher sentences but it seems obvious the problems extend far deeper.
McCarthy cited Amari's father, who has been arrested 45 times, saying that "if Mr. Brown is in custody, his son is alive."
Yet the city, known for its corrupt politicians and senior bureaucrats, seems stuck in a vicious cycle that can't simply be cured by putting people in jail forever. Its penal system is already over-stretched, like many around the nation.
Its police force is also heavily taxed, which showed in McCarthy's press conference where he stated "I'm tired of doing news conferences. I'm tired of listening to them. I'm tired of talking about them. Until we make a better decision as a community and as a city, this is all that's going to happen."
The issue is not new for the city and police prepared for the weekend by increasing the number of street patrols thirty percent. Yet 40 were wounded and seven were killed over two nights, highlighting the fact that policing just treats the symptoms of a far deeper underlying issue, which is primarily socioeconomic in nature.
Compared to last year, the number of violent incidents is actually down. On the long weekend in 2014 64 shootings resulted in 69 nonfatal victims and 15 killings.
McCarthy summed up the situation best when he said "we need some help here, folks. We have to fix this broken system."