Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, recorded a whopping 762 homicides in 2016. This homicide record is higher than that of LA and NYC combined, Fox News reports. The poor and predominately black areas were mostly targeted in the south and west sides of Chicago.
This was the largest spike of homicides in 60 years. From 2015, which showed a recorded 485 homicides, the rate has increased 57 percent in just one year. This rate averages to be two homicides per day in Chicago.
Further, Chicago showed a very large increase of shootings in 2016. According to the Chicago Police Department, statistics show that the city also had a heavy increase of shooting incidents this past year, up 1,100 from 2015.
The report shows that the south and west sides of Chicago were highly targeted and shows the most homicide records. These areas are mainly made up of the poor and predominately black areas, Fox News revealed. Gangs also plague the south and west sides of Chicago, thus increasing the likelihood of violence and homicides.
Chicago Tribune has made a record of each and every homicide in the city for every month in 2016. The results are staggering. Just in December, there were 57 reported homicides. Unfortunately, that was one of the lowest numbers of homicides among other months last year.
August showed the highest number of homicides in 2016, with a recorded 96 homicides. The majority of the homicides were in the west and south sides of Chicago, and most were the result of gun violence.
Among many of the homicides during the month of August, we can’t forget those that took the lives of children. One, in particular, a 16-year-old boy was outside playing with his friend, when gunfire lit up the area. The boy was among four others who were killed that day. There were 17 others wounded.
According to Fox News, the city has been trying to address the violence issues. The police officials have been working on finding out why shootings and homicides have significantly increased from the year before.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson noted that several factors have influenced the violence that has increased this past year. One, in particular, it has been one full year since the police released footage of a white police officer, who fatally shot a black teen 16 times. Ever since, major protests have sparked the area that led to a federal investigation, and the public trust for the police force was heavily weakened.
Unfortunately, the major uproars from the officer-involved shootings has caused the police to fear becoming the “next viral video,” thus making them afraid to acknowledge things that they probably should, such as minor drug busts. They have been focusing more on gun violence than anything else, while emboldening criminals.
“Criminals watch TV, pay attention to the media. They see an opportunity to commit nefarious activity.”
In November, protesters clashed after a police officer fatally shot a 25-year-old man in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood, ABC 7 Chicago reports. Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter groups exchanged chants during the tense protest. The family of the man fatally shot was in disbelief that he was armed and provoking the officer, but video footage that became viral allegedly showed that he did, indeed, have a gun.
In August, a large group gathered to protest officer-involved shootings. This protest was brought on by the shooting death of Paul O’Neal, who was fleeing from the police when he was shot and killed, Chicago Tribune reports.
One woman, who lives near police headquarters, yelled at nearby officers, calling them “murderers.”
“They’re killing down our kids, they’re killing down our brothers, our fathers, our mothers, they’re killing us.”
Police officials are working to find a solution to the gun violence in Chicago. This is an obvious issue that must be addressed.
[Featured Image by Scott Olsen/Getty Images]