A priest has made some pointed statements about the state of violence in Chicago after a particularly grim July 4 weekend left 15 people dead and more than 100 injured, with the faith leader’s comments putting the city’s dire situation into perspective.
“We are safer in Iraq,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a priest who is known for his social and political activism, wrote on Facebook.
Pfleger also added that he is flying the American flag upside down, an act that some see as patriotic amid symbolic of frustrations over issues unfolding within the U.S. Others, though, find that move offensive.
Either way, Pfleger’s Iraq comment paints a dire picture of what people are facing inside Chicago.
The Chicago Police Department has openly expressed its shock over the violence that raged, with spokesman Anthony Guglielmi telling The Chicago Tribune that the cops are “doing a debriefing” to try and better understand the situation.
“The mood here is frustration,” he admitted. “It’s perplexing. We deployed some very successful tactics over the Memorial Day weekend, yet those same tactics did not seem to work as well over the Fourth holiday.”
The Chicago Police Department will explore the reasons why some of these tactics seemed to not be as effective as they were in the past, exploring whether peoples’ local, amateur fireworks somehow interfered with the ShotSpotter system that is used to pinpoint audio from gunfire — a tool that helps police to more quickly respond to situations on the ground.
According to CNN, this year’s July 4 numbers paint a stark difference to what unfolded in the city in 2016, when four people were killed and 46 were injured in shootings — and during the 2015 holiday weekend when seven people were killed and 40 were wounded.