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A 1-year-old child among 18 dead, 47 wounded during one weekend of Chicago shootings

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Chris White on June 29, 2020

Two children and a teenager were among 18 people reportedly shot and killed in Chicago over the weekend amid calls from activists to defund police departments, according to a Monday report.

The shootings bring Chicago’s homicide totals to 300 so far in 2020, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday. The city didn’t reach that death toll from shootings in 2019 until August, according to the Sun-Times.

A 10-year-old girl was fatally shot Saturday night when a stray bullet struck her in the head while she was sitting at home, the Chicago police said, according to the Sun-Times. She was pronounced dead hours later at a nearby hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The shots possibly originated from a group of men who began firing at another group in the block, the Sun-Times reported.

A 1-year-old boy was killed and his mother wounded by a gunman Sunday while they were driving home from a laundromat at 2 p.m. A man pulled up alongside the mother’s vehicle and opened fire, according to police. The boy’s name was Sincere Gaston, medical examiner’s office said.

Antiwon Douglas, 17, was shot and killed Sunday morning by someone in the group he was with, authorities said. He was shot on the left side of his chest and transmitted to a nearby hospital, where he died.

News of Chicago’s homicide totals comes amid reports of increasing numbers of violent crimes across the country.

Seventy-four people were wounded in 55 shootings across the five boroughs of New York in June, NBC 4 reported June 22. That’s a 358% increase from the 12 shootings in 2019, NBC 4 reported. The victims ages ranged 16 to 47, and some appeared to be innocent bystanders, according to NBC 4.

Calls to reduce police funding or abolish police departments have grown amid protests over the past month against police brutality and racial injustice.

Anti-police demonstrations began shortly after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, video of the incident shows. Chauvin was immediately fired and faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

“Defund the police” has become a common slogan among protesters and left-wing figures as the demonstrations continued. The Minneapolis City Council voted on June 12 to “dismantle” the city police department as a way to solve what activists say is rampant police brutality.

New York City has taken similar actions. The New York Police Department disbanded its anti-crime unit on June 16 and reassigned roughly 600 plainclothes officers to new roles, Forbes reported.

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