In Chicago,Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former top aide to Barack Obama,is surrounded bythe stench of death. Under his reign, the city is known better for drive-byshootings than its old "Windy City" moniker. In the first quarter of 2016 there have been 82 more homicides than in the same time last year, for a total of 141 dead.

Last year shootings nearly doubled from 2014

Last year when shootings soared to 677 from 359 the year before,things werestill worse. Further complicating matters, the Chicago Teachers Union called a strike on April Fools' Day, assuring that a maximum number of youth will be on the streets instead of in classrooms.

If drive-by shootings and other gun related homicides stay on pace, 2016 will be one of the worst years in terms of homicidesin Chicagosince 2004.

Meanwhile, Emanuel has promoted Eddie Johnson, 55, from within the ranks of the city's embattled police department, to Police Chief. Johnson, who said Friday his police force "will remain tireless in its efforts to hold criminals accountable for their actions," blamed the spike in drive-by shootings on gang members in the city's southern and western neighborhoods.

Massive teachers strike fuels chaos

Along with the teachers' union strike, violence and condemnation against policefrom the videotaped shooting of a black male, which Emanuel's administration is accused of covering up, has sparked a backlash against police.

In some reporting, arrests are down 90% in the city, strongly indicating that police have backed off as crime increases across the boardincluding sexual assaults, robberies, batteries, and theft. Of all major US cities and metropolises, Chicago's spike in killings and violent crimes stands alonein comparison.

When the Chicago Police Department on Friday released more troubling crime statistics, murderswere up again over last yearfor March, butless thanin February as policereportedlyconductedmore investigations and made more stops.

Mayor Emanuel, amidst calls for his resignation from nearly every quarter, has largely ignored the public anger and instead fired his police chief in January.Since that firing, as mentioned, homicides have soared, and some say the teachers strike is bound to negatively affect crime rates in the near future.

Before the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, Emanuel was heavily criticized for suggesting that officers had stepped back from policing after rioting broke out in other cities over what protesters described as unwarranted police shootings.

Teachers strike kicks400,000 children from classrooms

Adding toa sense of chaos in Chicago, the teachers strike has kicked 400,000 students out of their classrooms, causing logistics emergencies for parents and putting hundreds of thousands of idle youth on the streets. Mayor Emanuel's school board, still at odds with the teachers union, has not announced a plan to end the strike and get the troubled school system's 27,000 teachers back to work.

On Friday, teachers were joined by students at Northeastern Illinois University where a stagedtheatrical so-called "New Orleans-style Jazz Funeral" was held to exemplify the city's negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union.

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