Is Chicago imploding under Rahm Emanuel?

MuzzleStreet violence in Chicago provided a bloody form of fireworks over the holiday weekend, with both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times leading with stories about the mayhem.

More than 60 people were shot and at least four people killed, reinforcing the image created back on April 1 by USA Today that violence in the city is out of control. At that time, the newspaper noted that murders were up 72 percent and shootings had “surged more than 88 percent in the first three months” of the year.

Among the holiday weekend victims were three children including a 5-year-old girl and her 7-year-old cousin, the Tribune reported, plus an 11-year-old boy. A 15-year-old boy was also shot.

The violent weekend came even after Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson put some 5,000 officers from multiple agencies on the streets. They reportedly arrested dozens of people known to be “prone to be involved in violence,” the Tribune reported Monday.

Against this backdrop, the Sun-Times is also reporting that 42 school principals in the city resigned this year, “the most since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office.”

The story says 23 principals retired this year, bringing the total to 65 school leaders who pulled out. The newspaper said there are about 515 school principals, and that they have seen “more budget cuts, including unprecedented cuts midyear.”

Last year saw the loss of 46 principals including 29 resignations and 17 retirements, and the year before that, 49 left. Of those, 37 resigned and a dozen retired.

The Windy City has been under one-party control for decades. It is the adopted hometown of President Barack Obama. Chicago has bitterly fought to prevent law-abiding citizens from having firearms despite a series of legal losses including the landmark case of McDonald v. City of Chicago that struck down the city’s long-standing gun ban.

Conditions are so bad that the Sun-Times actually has a “shooting tracker” report that offers updates on the number of shootings and slayings. That may say more about conditions in Chicago than any other single factor or medium.

It may be fair for observers to ask if the city is imploding.


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