Chicago Ends a Violent 2016 With 762 Murders

Police investigate the scene of a shooting where a 23-year-old woman was shot in the chest and hand and a 25-year-old man was shot in the leg on Jan. 1, 2017, in Chicago. The two were shot just before midnight on Dec. 31, 2016, making them the last of more than 4,000 people shot in the city in 2016 and ending one of the most violent years in the city in two decades.
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Chicago ended 2016 with a record number of shooting incidents and the most homicides in two decades, ABC News reports.

According to the report, Chicago closed out the year with 3,550 shooting incidents—in which more than 4,000 people were shot—and 762 murders. That averaged out to more than two murders and almost 10 shootings every single day.


The chilling data reveals that the Windy City has seen its highest number of homicides since 1996, when 796 were recorded. The total in 2016 is a 57 percent increase over 2015, which is the biggest spike in murders in the city in 60 years, the site notes.

The rise in violence prompted President-elect Donald Trump to respond via Twitter, suggesting that federal law enforcement should get involved in the crisis.

Among the dead in Chicago in 2016 is Nykea Aldridge, the mother of four and cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade who was tragically caught in crossfire in August while pushing her baby in a stroller on the South Side. Also, the 15-year-old grandson of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) was shot and killed over a pair of gym shoes in November.


According to CBS News, in a Sunday news conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that Chicago was among several cities in the U.S. that had seen a rise in violence, including attacks on law enforcement.

Johnson also said that it appears criminals have little fear of the criminal-justice system.


“In Chicago, we just don’t have a deterrent to pick up a gun,” he said. “Any time a guy stealing a loaf of bread spends more time pretrial in jail than a gun offender, something is wrong.”

Johnson expressed that he thinks more gang members are arming themselves because there is a relatively small price for being caught in Chicago in comparison with other large cities.


The police superintendent said that several other factors may have contributed to the increase in violence, noting that 2016 marked the first full year since the city had been forced to release the video showing the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teen who was shot 16 times by a white police officer.

According to CBS News, Johnson noted in a recent interview with the Associated Press that officers have now grown more cautious out of fear of becoming the next "viral video," adding that these concerns are not lost on those who commit crimes.


“Criminals watch TV, pay attention to the media,” he said. “They see an opportunity to commit nefarious activity.”

Read more at ABC and CBS News

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