CPD: Survivors won't talk in majority of shootings

August 27, 2012 2:35:01 PM PDT
Chicago police say investigations only get so far in 75- to 80-percent of all shootings because victims don't want to cooperate.

Despite a hike in the murder rate, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy believes a long-term policing plan will reduce the violence.

Johnny Howell, 19, was one of nine people killed over the weekend. Dozens of others were injured.

"It's hard to explain what I'm feeling. It's a feeling you don't ever want anyone to go through no matter who it is... It hurts... that's what I'm feeling hurt. This war is going on all over," Tracey Burrell, Howell's mother, said.

Howell was on his way home from a neighborhood store when a drive-by shooter gunned him down, Burrell said.

"That was my heart. That's the other half of me, that's like my twin," Azalia Smith, Howell's older sister, said.

Three hundred and sixty murders have been reported in Chicago so far in 2012, compared to the 273 reported in all of 2011. While the homicide is rate is up, overall crime is down nine percent. In Englewood, where Chicago police have increased beat patrols, homicide rates are down 25-percent.

"We are not going to win every day, we are not going to win every weekend, we are not going to win every day, we are not going to win every week, we are not going to win every month. The fact is that doesn't change we had four consecutive months of violence reductions and shooting reductions," Supt. McCarthy said.

Another obstacle- the CPD has stopped investigating 75- to 80- percent of shootings because the victims won't talk.

"Fear of crime and fear of retaliation where gang members are going to harm them," Dennis Rosenbaum, professor of criminology at UIC, said.

Howell's family said the teenager suffered a minor graze wound last week in a second incident in which he was shot in the back.


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