Chicago Violence

Englewood Free of Shootings in Violent Fourth of July Weekend

The Englewood neighborhood has been spotlighted nationally as the scene for Spike Lee's upcoming film "Chiraq"

Over a particularly violent Fourth of July weekend, during which nine people were killed and another 53 were wounded in shootings, not a single shooting incident was reported in the South Side Englewood neighborhood.

Englewood supplied the setting for director Spike Lee's upcoming film "Chiraq," which recently wrapped up filming, and was spotlighted for its startling problem of "black-on-black violence."

The South Side neighborhood is known for its violent reputation, but several city officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reached out to Lee in an attempt to prevent the negative stereotype from growing. Emanuel discouraged Lee from calling his film "Chiraq" because "there are very good people that live in Englewood who are raising their family." The mayor added that despite Englewood's reputation, there are "a lot of positive things" happening in the neighborhood.

The weekend shootings took place all over the city, but few of them happened near Englewood. There was one shooting incident in West Englewood and another in nearby Chicago Lawn, but most immediate neighboring areas were untouched by shootings.

By contrast, in 2014, at least 10 people were shot, including three who died, in the Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago Police increased their officer presence by 30 percent over the holiday weekend, according to Police Supt. Garry McCarthy; however, McCarthy also said that a lack of officers wasn't necessarily the biggest problem. Instead, he said the fact that gang members were more afraid of their leaders than they were of cops and the law encouraged more shootings.

In the downtown Streeterville neighborhood, a 19-year-old man was shot just blocks from Navy Pier following the fireworks show on the Fourth of July. In a press conference Sunday, McCarthy said the shooting happened right in front of a uniformed officer, thus underlining his point.

No one neighborhood stood out as the most violent over the holiday weekend, but there was a notable lack of shootings in the Loop, Near South Side, Near West Side and on most of the North Side.

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