Chicago Logs Deadliest Day in Modern History

Crime Lab counts 18 murders in 24 hours on May 31
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2020 10:40 AM CDT
Chicago Logs Deadliest Day in Modern History
A cyclist rides past the closed Dearborn Street Bridge on May 31, 2020, after a night of protests and vandalism in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago has logged its deadliest day in modern history, with 18 murders on May 31. "A hardworking father killed just before 1am. A West Side high school student murdered two hours later. A man killed amid South Side looting at a cellphone store at 12:30pm," begins a report from the Chicago Sun-Times. Also killed was Keishanay Bolden, an 18-year-old student at Western Illinois University who was studying law enforcement and justice in the hope of becoming a correctional officer, per Fox News. "We've never seen anything like it, at all," Max Kapustin, the senior research director at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, tells the Sun-Times. It was a brutal weekend, with 25 people killed from 7pm on May 29 to 11pm on May 31. Another 85 people were injured by gunfire in that time.

The Crime Lab, with data stretching back to 1961, found the next highest single-day murder total came on Aug. 4, 1991, when 13 people were killed. Rev. Michael Pfleger, a social activist, suggested a lack of police during protests over the death of George Floyd allowed violence to escalate, per the Sun-Times. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said 65,000 911 calls, or about 50,000 more than normal, were logged on May 31. An 18-year-old who was shot as she waited in line outside a store said "nobody answered" her call, per the Sun-Times. Police spokesman Thomas Ahern described an "unprecedented" level of activity. However, he said the department was "actively working to seek justice for all the residents impacted," per the New York Post. (Another 10 people were killed in Chicago on Memorial Day weekend.)

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