The already record murder rate in the 75 percent nonwhite city of Chicago is actually much higher than official figures, because of a county and city difference in tallying “homicides” versus “murders,” the AMI newswire has reported.
In 2016, Chicago police reported that 762 people were murdered in Chicago, a 63 percent increase from the 468 murders recorded in 2015 and almost double the murders in 2014.
There were also 4,331 shootings in 2016, up from 3,550 in 2015. But all these figures are at least 15 percent lower than what they should be, the AMI report said.
In reality, the evidence shows the city suffered 50 more homicides last year than the numbers publicly reported. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office reported a homicide count of 812 in 2016, 15 percent higher than the 762 murders reported by the city’s police department.
According to AMI, the discrepancy is due to the fact that the county tallies “homicides” while the police number counts “murders.”
Murders are defined as violent acts subject to criminal prosecution.
Homicides, according to the medical examiner, include instances “when the death of a person comes at the hand of another person. This does not imply that all homicides are murders that would be subject to criminal prosecution.”
The city police count is also lower because it excludes violent, intentional deaths if the act is deemed justified, including police killings of residents, AMI added.
Using the county’s count, homicides rose 54 percent in 2016 over 2015 figures, when some 528 deaths were determined to be homicides.
Gun violence remains the leading cause of death for victims of homicide in Chicago with 725 residents being killed by firearms.
Other statistics confirmed the nonwhite nature of the violence: of the county-wide total—which includes the city—of 915 murder victims, blacks accounted for 710. At least 88 percent of the murders occurred in the city, and males compromised 90 percent of all victims.
AMI added that “other cities saw similar increases in homicides per a recently released FBI data.”
Cities with over one million inhabitants saw murder rise by 21.6 percent in the first half of 2016 over the first half of 2015.