A deadly weekend in Chicago has pushed law makers to take action. Monday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed two laws designed to fight gang-related crime.
One establishes a witness protection program for those who help prosecute gang members. Quinn says he hopes will this will encourage people to speak up.
“We will not have silence about violence, we will gather together as a community, as a faith community, as the state of Illinois with 13 million people strong to make sure we protect the people,” Quinn said.
The other law requires school officials to report illegal weapons and gang activity to police and for police to report similar information to the schools.
WVON, a south side radio station has joined the cause as well, making a plea for peace. One host, Perri Small says it’s time for people to take responsibility.
“Start raising your kids. You can’t blame [Chicago Police Supt.] Mr. McCarthy because you raised a fool,” said Small. “There’s got to be some better parenting out here.”
Regardless of who is to blame, something has to be done. Over the 4th of July weekend, 72 people being shot this holiday weekend and 12 people being killed in the Chicago area.
Despite the spike in violence over the holiday weekend, the number of homicides is down this year from 275 last year at this point compared to 202 so far this year.