The rampant violence in the city of Chicago has resulted in over 700 deaths in the city this year alone as of Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune reported:
In a year of relentless violence, Chicago has hit another gruesome milestone, exceeding 700 homicides on Wednesday for the first time in nearly two decades, according to official Police Department records.
The year got off to a violent start with 50 homicides in January and rarely let up even after the end of the summer — the peak season for shootings.
The numbers are simply off the charts. The 701 homicides through Wednesday marked a nearly 56 percent jump from the 450 killings a year earlier. With one month still to go, that represents the most homicides since 704 in 1998.
Police Department statistics do not include killings on area expressways, police-involved shootings, other justifiable homicides or death investigations that could later be reclassified as homicides. And police said a fatal shooting happened early Thursday, the first day of December, but an autopsy hasn’t confirmed that the death was a homicide.
Nearly 4,050 people have been shot, a 50 percent jump from 2,699 victims a year earlier, according to the department statistics. Shooting incidents rose by comparable figures, to 3,315, up 49 percent from 2,224 a year earlier.
For comparison, Chicago has had more homicides than New York City and Los Angeles combined — two major cities that have far larger populations.
Based on official statistics reported through Nov. 20, as reported by the Tribune, NYC and LA combined for 565 homicides and 2,117 shootings — far less than Chicago.
Gang activity, the flow of illegal firearms (yet strict restrictions on legal gun ownership…), poverty, and lowered morale among officers who have faced increased scrutiny and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation following a video released this year of the fatal officer involved shooting of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald; these are all contributing factors.
According to the Tribune, officers have explained that they are skittish about every action they take for fear of another viral video, being sued or fired from the job.
The situation in Chicago is an absolute mess and something needs to be done about it. President-elect Donald Trump campaigned in part on the concept of the restoration of “law and order” in this country. There are many prongs to making that happen, but when you see the cold, hard facts in cities like Chicago, it is abundantly clear that things need to change.