American cities reach violent new highs over warm Memorial Day weekend as Baltimore city councilman says: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’
Lauren Gambino, theguardian.com
At least 108 people were shot across three of America’s most crime-plagued cities during the holiday weekend, as violent new highs from a nationwide gun epidemic intersected with outcries over police violence in Chicago, Baltimore and New York.
Chicago [home of Hawaiian-born President Obama and his Chicago-born spouse Michelle - JB],
image from, with caption: Barack Obama's House
which tends to see a dramatic annual increase in firearm-related homicides beginning with warm weather at the Memorial Day holiday, experienced the worst violence. At least 56 people, including a four-year-old girl and three teenagers, were shot between Friday afternoon and early Tuesday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune. Twelve people were killed over the three-day weekend, twice as many as during the same period last year.
In Baltimore, a city still reeling from the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a spinal injury while in police custody just six weeks ago, Baltimore police said 28 people were shot, nine fatally, over the weekend. The latest spate of shootings makes May the city’s deadliest month since 1999, according to the Baltimore Sun. Since late Sunday, two people were killed and eight injured in shootings across the city.
“It’s deplorable,” city councilman William “Pete” Welch was quoted as saying in the Sun. “The shootings and killings are all over the city. I don’t think any part of the city is immune to this. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The city erupted in protests over Gray’s death, which was the latest in a spate of shootings involving the death of a black resident at the hand of police. Six police officers have been indicted in the incident.
In New York City, 23 people were killed or injured in 16 separate shooting incidents across the city over the long weekend, according to the New York police department. There were five reported homicides over the holiday, including one stabbing. The number of shootings had mostly stayed the same year over year, dipping slightly from 17 incidents reported over the weekend in 2014.
Last year, Memorial Day weekend in the US was marred by a mass killing in Isla Vista, California, when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger stabbed his two roommates and one of their friends to death; shot and killed three people on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus; and injured 14 more before killing himself.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, 9,366 people have been injured by gun violence in America since 1 January 2015, up from 7,145 last year. A total of 4,868 people have been killed since the first of the year, up from 4,123 last year.
That number includes 1,155 children and teens injured or killed and 486 instances of defensive gun use.
In total, there have been 18,935 incidents of gun violence reported in 2015; among them, according to the gun-violence site, 1,705 were officer-involved shootings.