Chicago’s most violent day in 60 years happened as civil unrest spread to the Windy City, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
On May 31, Chicago recorded 18 homicides in 24 hours, according to data from the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The Chicago Sun-Times, which maintains the data, said it dates back to 1961 and no day has ever exceeded the death toll.
“We’ve never seen anything like it, at all,” said Max Kaputsin, University of Chicago crime lab researcher, to the Sun-Times. “I don’t know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything we’ve ever seen before.”
The people killed in the city that day included two teenage students, a 36-year-old father of two young children, and a dozen others, according to the paper. Keishanay Bolden, one of the slain, was reportedly enrolled at Western Illinois University and studying law enforcement and justice to become a correctional officer.
Prior to the deadly weekend, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order over coronavirus on Friday, May 29, and said the state was beginning the third phase of his “Restore Illinois Plan.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week that police received 65,000 phone calls for all types of service on May 31 — approximately 50,000 more than on a normal day. The Sun-Times reported that the police were receiving 2,000 phone calls every 30 minutes at some points during May 31.
Whether any of the dead were killed after altercations with law enforcement is unclear. Major incident notifications made available to media by the Chicago Police Department show no fatal police-involved shootings for May 31. The Chicago Police Department told The Washington Times on Monday that citywide crime data for the week including May 31 would be made available later this week.
The Chicago Police Department said from 6 p.m. on Friday, May 29, through Sunday, May 31, there were 27 murders and 92 shooting victims.
The University of Chicago Crime Lab did not immediately respond to request for comment on the data it collected.
Last year, 492 murders were recorded in Chicago and three were identified as fatal police-involved shootings, according to the Sun-Times.