Criminal violence has claimed the lives of 109 people in Chicago since the start of the year, setting that 70 percent nonwhite city well on its way to a record year of mayhem and murder.
The homicide rate is now so commonplace that the Chicago Tribune newspaper now thinks it newsworthy to report that there has actually been a weekend—the first of the year—when no murders were committed.
However, that article then goes on to say that “Despite the first weekend of the year in which there were no fatal shootings, at least seven people died from violence last week in Chicago. And while that number is unacceptable, it was the lowest number of murders in the city since the week of New Year’s, when only 5 people were killed.”
Throughout February, homicides have been running at nearly double the rate for the same period last year.
Homicide statistics kept by the Police Department cover only violent deaths considered criminal. Homicides began rising sharply in Chicago in the mid to late 1960s, peaking in 1992 with 943 before gradually declining. In 1997, the number was 796. Last year, it was 468, by the department’s measurement.
There has been an even bigger increase in the number of people shot in the city this year. As of last week, at least 467 people had been shot, compared with 217 the same period last year—more than double, according to statistics kept by the Chicago Tribune.
By the end of last year, more than 2,900 people had been shot. That was 13 percent more than the previous year, and the number of homicides was up by the same amount, compared to 2014.
Despite being the nation’s third-most populous city, Chicago far outpaces New York, Los Angeles, and every other large city in America in the sheer number of homicide and shooting victims.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has now admitted that the ongoing “civil rights investigations” into police following the uproar created by the controlled media-supported “black lives matter” campaign had been a significant factor in the escalating homicide rate.
Speaking to the press this week, Emanuel said that “Our officers—and I can tell you this first hand—are sensitive and aware of the last two months of the discussion [about civil rights investigations the recent firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy].”
Chicago police officers are being less aggressive in the continuing fallout of the “black lives matter” campaign. The most obvious aftereffect has been the dramatic drop in the number of street stops in Chicago.
There were just 14,648 street stops by police in the city this year, down from 111,831 in January and February of 2015—a decline of 87 percent.
Interim Police Supt. John Escalante recently recorded a video message to assure rank-and-file police officers concerned about “the next YouTube video that goes viral” that “there is a difference between a mistake and misconduct” and that the Justice Department and ACLU are not personally targeting officers, but looking at systematic problems.
Emanuel said that it was “unacceptable what’s happening in parts of the neighborhoods of our city . . . where gang members with too easy access to guns and too little exposure to values are literally taking their gang warfare into the neighborhoods of our city.”