(Natural News) As the George Floyd protests that have swept the nation enter their third week, major cities are also reporting an increase in violence and crime.
Protests in St. Louis marred by shootings
In St. Louis, the weekend saw at least nine protests in the city that drew thousands of people. While most demonstrations were peaceful, authorities reported a rally in the city’s northwestern St. Charles suburb that turned tense after police blocked protesters attempting to march onto Interstate 70.
But city officials also reported an increase in shootings over the weekend. A total of 21 people were shot from Friday to Sunday, with six fatalities. In particular, most fatal shootings happened during the citywide curfew on Sunday.
On Friday, eight people were admitted to hospitals in the city after being shot. The youngest was a 16-year-old boy who was shot while he was playing basketball. He reported hearing two women arguing nearby before the incident. Another case involved a 17-year-old boy who was shot after using the reflection of a car’s tinted window to fix his hair.
On Saturday, a 48-year-old man was shot in connection to a robbery in eastern St. Louis. The man was listed in critical condition.
Chicago’s protests devolve into riots during “deadliest weekend”
Meanwhile, authorities in Chicago recorded 18 murders on May 31, making it the city’s deadliest day in 60 years. The deaths, together with seven murders on May 29 and May 30, rounded out the most violent weekend in the city’s modern history, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
The murders also capped a weekend that plunged the Windy City into chaos, as protesters set cars on fire and broke into stores and looted them. As the demonstrations became violent, police tried to keep the peace but were met with a screaming mob that threw things at them, even using bats and hammers as weapons. Some rioters vandalized police cars and set them on fire, while others spray painted buildings.
“We’ve never seen anything like it, at all,” added Max Kapustin, a senior researcher at the University of Chicago’s Urban Lab.
“I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before.”
Urban Lab, which monitors crime data, as well as those of education, health and poverty across the city, said that the deaths on May 31 make it the single most violent day on record. In comparison, the city’s second most violent day was Aug. 4, 1991, which had 13 recorded murders. (Related: Illinois man charged with attempting to INCITE RIOTING; Antifa hijacking peaceful protests to start riots and cause violence.)
According to Chicago Police Department spokesman Thomas Ahern, the department is now looking at possible motives for several incidents.
“The level of activity experienced over the last week has been unprecedented and the Department is actively investigating multiple incidents across the city,” Ahern told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Among those killed on May 31 were Keishanay Bolden, a law enforcement student at Western Illinois University who wanted to be a corrections officer; Lazarra Daniels, a student at DRW College Prep who was shot to death; and Angelo Bronson, a father of two young children who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting.
“Just about the last person I could have thought this would happen to was Angelo,” longtime friend Ali Evans told the Sun-Times. “I just can’t believe we’re talking about him in the past tense.”
New York City dealing with protests as crime rate skyrockets
Protesters continue to pour into New York City in response to the death of George Floyd, despite having among the highest coronavirus caseloads in the world.
However, authorities also reported an uptick in murders and shootings amid the protests. According to a report by the New York Post, the city saw 13 murders and 40 reported shootings on the week of June 1, which was significantly higher than last year’s figures.
Last week’s protests in New York City were among the most violent, as the New York City Police Department reported hundreds of officers injured during the riots.
“You have some in the hospital. But there were over 300, 300 injuries,” said former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
“I’m hearing close to 600 cops have either put in their papers, or they’re talking to the department about resigning or retiring, like this is insane.”