18 murders in 24 hours
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18 murders in 24 hours – the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Above, The University of Chicago (Gleacher Center), CC0 1.0 , by Mx Granger.

18 murders over a span of 24 hours bereft Chicago in the wake of civil rights protests and corresponding riots. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that from 7pm May 29 to 11pm May 31 there was the most violent series of 48 hour killings in Chicago in 60 years. 25 murders were committed between May 29 and May 31. Of those 25, 18 of them occurred on Sunday within the same 24 hour period.  

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The bloody spree transpired only a handful of days after George Floyd, the inspiration of the civil rights protests, was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. The senior research director at the University of Chicago Crime Lab, Max Kapustin, has made note of the May 29-31 events as historically unique. 

“We’ve never seen anything like it, at all,”said Kapustin as he was quoted by The Chicago Sun-Times. This murder spree was reported by Tom Schuba, Sam Charles, and Matthew Hendrickson of the Chicago Sun-Times. The paper went behind the scenes to look at the life and death of a hardworking father, a WestSide highschool student, a man caught in the wrong place at the time of a cell phone store looting,  a college freshman and many others with their own unique stories to tell. 

While the Chicago Crime Lab’s data does not go back further than 1961, there was no data on the previous record to describe a single day like Sunday, May 31, 2020. This is considering the fact that Chicago has an international reputation for high rates of homicide. In the 1990s, 900 murders per year did not stand out as abnormal, but were rather the average median number for Chicago, citing Chicago Sun-Times. 


The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with Reverend Michael Pfleger, who is an activist against gun violence. Pfleger stated that he heard among his community people regarding the time of the civil rights protests as an “open season” of a kind, due to the absence of police. 

As the South and West Side burned due to the civil rights riots that followed this mentality, CST reports that Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated Chicago’s 911 received 65,000 calls on May 31. Over 10,000 of these calls were directly associated with looting events. There were a reported 82 shootings with 48 shootings reported on May 31 alone, citing an earlier report by the CST. 

Lightfoot made a note that the number of calls received over the span of May 29-May 31 were an average of 50,000 more calls for emergency services than are made on a typical day. The Mayor stated that as May 31 wore on 2,000 calls were made every 30 minutes. 

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In audio obtained by WTTW PBS, city aldermen meeting with Lori Lightfoot questioned what the city would even have left of itself after the riots and murders were through. This came days after the murder spree spanning May 29-31. It was reported on June 5. PBS stated that on June 5 the aldermen were pleading with Lightfoot to help them protect their communities from a repeat of the atrocities that spanned the week before. 

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