chicago crime

‘Simply Dangerous:' Chicagoans Question Safety as Shootings, Carjackings Climb

Chicago police said the department has stepped up patrols in communities including the Loop and River North, but some say it's not enough.

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Following an attempted carjacking in Chicago's Gold Coast Thursday night, one of the latest in a string of violent crimes throughout the city, residents say more intervention is needed, and now, some are even thinking about moving elsewhere.

In the recent incident, a 35-year-old man was critically wounded in what witnesses described as a "failed carjacking" near 20 E. Chestnut St.

Lance Houia, a witness who began recording video moments after shots erupted, said the victim was outside of his vehicle, saying goodbye to his girlfriend when a gunman ran up to him and said "give me your keys."

"He said, 'are you kidding me?' And without hesitation, shot him in the neck," Houia recounted.

In all, 708 carjacking's were reported from the beginning of 2021 until June 13, compared to 416 during the same period last year, according to police statistics.

Following the rise in violent incidents, CPD said it stepped up patrols in communities including the Loop and River North, but some Chicagoans say it's not enough.

"I love this city," Houia said. "I have been here over 20 years and I love this city, but the city is dangerous now, it’s simply dangerous."

On top of other recurring crimes, teens are allegedly using Divvy bikes, traveling in large groups, surrounding other riders and stealing their bikes.

One of two similar incidents reported within 10 minutes of each other Wednesday was captured on video and posted on social media.

As Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown look for solutions to reduce crime, the City Council continues to debate whether to allow a civilian board to oversee CPD and its policies.

On Friday, the City Council's Public Safety Committee did not come up with the required votes to either create a plan or civilian commission to oversee the department.

The proposed grassroots plan, "Empowering Communities for Public Safety" would have a say on police policy, provide nominees to become police superintendent and have the power to hire or fire the head of COPA, Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

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