With only two months to go, Chicago’s homicide total on Monday reached 435, matching last year’s total murder count, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The 435th homicide victim of the year was a man in his 30s, who was shot on a South Side street.
The city’s homicide count grabbed international attention when it spiked during an unusually warm spring.
President Barack Obama has talked about the violence in his adopted hometown, including in an MTV interview on Friday.
“I live on the South Side of Chicago,” said Obama. “Some of these murders are happening just a few blocks from where I live. I have friends whose family members have been killed.”
“What I know is that gun violence is part of the issue,” he said. “But part of the issue also is kids who feel so little hope and think their prospects for the future are so small that their attitude is, ‘I’m going to end up in jail or dead.’ And they will take all kinds of risks.
“If they’ve got mental health issues, are they getting the kind of services and counseling that they need early on?” he said.
“Are we making those investments in those young people so that by the time they’re 11, 12, 13, 15 … they can make responsible choices because they feel they’ve got something at stake?”
While the city had reported there were 433 homicides in 2011, a police official on Sunday said the number of homicides last year has been updated to 435 after two deaths were reclassified.
We can only hope that things will get better for the city and its residents in 2013. The violence has to stop.