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Chicago police say they did ‘good job’ during busy Independence Day weekend

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(The Center Square) – Chicago police officials on Wednesday addressed a busy, extended holiday weekend that included flash flooding, a presidential visit, a professional street race and continued violent crime.

Last week, President Joe Biden visited Chicago. That was followed by the NASCAR street race over the weekend. Part of that was delayed because of heavy rain bringing flash flooding. Despite the heavy storms, reports in Chicago indicate over 33 people were shot, including five deaths over the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Shooting victims included a 48-year-old woman who was shot several times and a 15-year-old who was shot in the face. Both were later pronounced dead.

Fred Waller, acting superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said the level of violence this past weekend was an improvement from the year before, and that took a lot of planning from the CPD.

“I still think that we did a great job overall,” Waller said. “You can’t say to the people who lost their lives that we did a great job, but the effort was there.”

Waller said heavy rainfall could have also played a part in keeping people off the streets.

“A lot of long-term planning went into NASCAR. We always plan long term for the Fourth of July,” Waller said. “Of course, the weather being what it was for NASCAR, I’m sure that kept some people off the street.”

On Wednesday morning, police dealt with another violent occurrence as an individual opened fire on a group gathered outside in the Englewood neighborhood, shooting five people and killing one. Many of the gatherings in the city over the weekend were related to fireworks, which are illegal in the city and throughout the state.

According to police, several calls related to the use of fireworks went unattended. Waller said they could not respond to every call.

“We have to really pull our resources to do other things when we have shots fired and people battering each other,” Waller said. “So we need to really gauge what we are going to respond to as far as the fireworks.”

Chicago Police statistics show a decrease in shootings compared to the same weekend last year when over 60 people were shot in the city.

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