- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2019

Chicago’s leading police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says “emboldened” criminals are responsible for a “despicable” weekend in which 52 people were shot and were 10 killed.

The Windy City’s full-blown epidemic of gang violence prompted yet another news conference on the perpetual shootings demanding the department’s resources.

“I wish we were gathered for a better occasion, but unfortunately over the past 72 hours in Chicago we saw a despicable level of violence with 52 shot and 10 killed,” Mr. Johnson told reporters on Monday. “Despite investments and progress in safety, weekends like this remind us all of the challenges that we face and that they are complex and profound.”

The department’s response to the shootings resulted in the seizure of 92 firearm — nearly double the amount police officers capture in an average weekend. 

“I think what this shows is the proliferation of guns that we have on the streets of Chicago,” Mr. Johnson added. “You know, when you think about these incidents we had over the weekend, in many of [the shootings], police were within blocks. … That just goes to show you how emboldened some of these individuals are, you know? And it’s ridiculous that we just cannot get this right in terms of holding people accountable and finding alternatives for certain individuals that do.”

“I’ll tell you this,” he said. “We know who a lot of these people are. And how do we know that? Because we keep arresting them over and over and over and over and over again. It’s just a vicious cycle. So until we hold violent offenders accountable in the way that they should be, we’re going to continue to see this.”

At least 19 individuals were arrested on gun-related charges, NBC News reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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