Last year Chicago saw four people slain during Memorial Day weekend. This year the city saw 40 shootings and 10 murders over the four-day weekend. (Yes, some people had four days off.)
Scary right? "According to the summaries, there have been at least 200 homicides so far this year compared with 134 during the same period in 2011. That's a 49.25 percent increase over last year," reports the Chicago Tribune's Stacy St. Clair, who added that police aren't confirming the 40-10 tally because they say several incidents are still under investigation.
Sure you could probably point to large Memorial day parties and gatherings, as St. Clair and police do, as one explanation for why so many shootings and killings occurred--the thought being that there are more people in town, hence the bigger figure. But St. Clair notes that shootings in Chicago are up 14 percent for the year, casting doubts on Rahm Emmanuel's crime-fighting initiatives. And hey, there's always the intangible "heat brings out more crime" theory which some news outlets are sticking to. Temperatures apparently hit the mid-90s in Chicago this weekend.