Americans have a better chance of being killed in Chicago than U.S. troops do in Afghanistan, figures from the nation’s third-largest city show.
This year 228 Chicago residents have been killed, while the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan during the same period is 144, The Huffington Post reported.
The news comes amidst some bad PR for the Chicago Police Department—this month it assigned 100 officers to the wedding of the daughter of a White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett. The department has been proactive in trying to quell the violence, offering officers overtime pay for working their days off and deploying a large number of officers to high crime areas, like downtown where “mob-style” attack have occurred recently.
It’s not just this year that Chicago outpaced Afghanistan in terms of deaths by violence, either. Since 2001 more than 5,000 people have been killed by gunfire in Chicago, and during that same period 2,000 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan, Chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 reported.
The murder rate in Chicago is twice that of Los Angeles and four times higher than New York’s rate, and in recent weeks the Windy City has had some high-profile incidents. Warmer weather has brought a surge in gun violence, with more expected at the upcoming Puerto Rican Festival and the large crowds it draws, The Huffington Post reported.
Garry McCarthy, Chicago’s police superintendent, said the city’s rate is actually improving but that it deals with a “perception problem,” the Chicago Tribune reported. Chicago’s homicide statistics have actually improved in the past two years, he noted.