An Illinois state representative has called on the state’s governor to call the Illinois State Police and the Illinois National Guard to Chicago to assist in efforts to suppress the level of gun violence in the nation’s third-largest city.
Monique Davis, who represents portions of the South Side of Chicago, has asked Gov. Pat Quinn to bring in the National Guard as soon as possible to have a visible presence on the streets of Chicago, saying that the city is in a state of crisis.
“There have been more than 500 murders this year and most of them are African-American young males and a few females,” Davis said in an interview with BET.com. “And during the Fourth of July weekend, things went completely out of control. We’re acting like this is normal. But this is not normal.”
The Chicago Police Department has announced that homicides and shootings have declined in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period last year. Nonetheless, the level of gun violence has continued to be a concern to Chicagoans, particularly after a particularly violent Fourth of July weekend. During that period, more than 70 shootings took place with 11 people being killed.
However, Davis said that, despite the statistics, residents of Chicago do not feel safe and the governor should intervene.
“We’re acting like this is normal,” the state representative said. “This is not normal. Our children are dying and I don’t think enough attention is being paid to this. The police explain it by saying that it’s gang related. But we have babies and children six and seven years old getting shot and killed. Surely they are not members of gangs.”
Quinn, a Democrat, was asked about Davis’ request at the end of a news conference about his failure of his veto of a bill that would allow public possession of concealed guns. Quinn declined to answer the question.
There have been great concerns about violent crime in Chicago for some time. The issue received national attention earlier this year when Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honor student who performed at President Obama’s inauguration, was killed by a bullet while standing in a South Side playground.
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(Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)