Despite quarantine, Chicago records most violent five-day span this year

The bloodshed occurred even as the entire state of Illinois is under a lockdown order.

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The Chicago skyline
Chicago IL
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Updated: April 11, 2020 - 2:32pm

Chicago, long known nationally for its elevated murder rates, particularly its high rates of gun violence, saw its bloodiest five-day stretch of 2020 this week. Nearly 20 residents were killed and almost 50 wounded, among them a 5-year-old girl. 

Seventeen Chicagoans were shot between April 7 and April 11, with two more being murdered by other means. Forty-seven others were wounded through shooting or other forms of violence.

The violence comes even as Chicago, like the rest of Illinois, is under a mandatory stay-at-home order from state Gov. J. B. Pritzker. The city has gone further than many U.S. municipalities, closing down parks and nature trails and warning exercisers to not venture too far from their homes. 

Those cautious policies have even extended to the city's municipal law enforcement: Police officers have been reducing the number of traffic and citation stops in the city, with CPD Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck urging officers to, wherever possible, issue tickets rather than make arrests.

Whether not not that relaxed form of policing has directly translated into higher levels of crime is unclear, though crime levels were up significantly from the same five-day period last year. 

The crime was largely concentrated in just four of the city's 22 police jurisdictions. The city's mayor, Lori Lightfoot, this week urged residents with knowledge of the shooters to come forward to authorities. "These cowards cannot be given any shelter," she said.