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Chicago Shootings: Garry McCarthy Defends Police Strategies As Weekend Gun Violence Continues

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Mourners watch as the remains of Joseph Briggs is lowered into a grave at Oak Woods Cemetery on June 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Briggs, who turned 16 in April, was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting while he was sitting on his front porch with his sister on June 9. Briggs was one of nine people killed and 46 wounded by gunfire in Chicago during that June weekend. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Mourners watch as the remains of Joseph Briggs is lowered into a grave at Oak Woods Cemetery on June 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Briggs, who turned 16 in April, was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting while he was sitting on his front porch with his sister on June 9. Briggs was one of nine people killed and 46 wounded by gunfire in Chicago during that June weekend. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Saturday addressed the disturbingly high number of shootings in Chicago in recent days and continued to defend his department's strategy to curb gun violence citywide.

"We’re not winning, we’re not losing. We’re basically treading water," McCarthy said during a Saturday afternoon press conference, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

McCarthy went on to call the level of gun violence in Chicago "unacceptable" as he admitted that his department "had some trouble" in August in their attempts to remain a step ahead of shootings carried out as retaliation for previous bloodshed, the paper reports.

(Scroll down to watch a HuffPost Live segment on gun violence in Chicago.)

The press conference was called to announce the arrest of 15 people arrested late last week in two reportedly gang-affiliated drug busts on the city's South Side, according to the Chicago Tribune. McCarthy claimed that when they have carried out similar busts previously this year, crime in the corresponding areas of the city has gone down in response.

Police also announced Saturday that they have "good leads" on suspects in the Thursday drive-by shooting that left eight people wounded, ABC Chicago reports, more than half of the 13 people shot over a period of 30 minutes that night in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the gun violence continued Saturday evening into early Sunday, bringing the total number of those fatally shot in Chicago over the weekend to at least seven and those wounded to 24 as of late Sunday morning, according to NBC Chicago.

The most recent homicide is Rashad Pratt, 28, who was found with multiple gunshot wounds just before 3 a.m. inside a vehicle in the city's Calumet Heights neighborhood, NBC reports. Pratt was pronounced dead on the scene.

As of early Saturday, Chicago had seen 46 homicides in August and 351 homicides so far this year, according to the RedEye's homicide tracker. As of the end of July, homicides this year at up about 27 percent over 2011 and that year-over-year surge is expected to increase once August numbers are in.

Gun violence in Chicago was the subject of a recent segment on HuffPost Live, which featured a panel of activists and journalists including Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church weighing in on what has been a violent summer in the Windy City.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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