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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Chicago Reaches Highest Level of Homicides Since 1996, With 80 Percent of the Victims Being Black

For the first time since 1996, Chicago reaches more than 800 homicides in the city

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Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski (Getty Images)

A city that already gets an unfair rep for being known more as violent than anything else just reached a disturbing milestone. In 2021, Chicago went through one of its deadliest years in the last quarter-century. The medical examiner’s office handled more than 1,00 homicides last year: 836 were in Chicago alone, the most the office handled since 1994, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In total, 797 people were killed in Chicago, which is the highest since 1996, when 798 were killed.

Like I said, a disturbing milestone.

More from the Chicago Tribune:

According to the CPD, a total of 797 people were killed in the city, a figure not seen since 798 were slain in 1996.

But that total count does not include people shot and killed in shootings on Chicago expressways, as they are the jurisdiction of the Illinois State Police. When that number is included the city reached at least 800 homicides, according to Tribune reporting in 2021.

The CPD figure also does not include self-defense shootings or fatal shootings by police officers.

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Unfortunately, there are more dire numbers from the CPD.

Black people were the victims of 80 percent of the homicides handled by the medical examiner; males were 88 percent of the homicide deaths and the majority of the homicides were done by guns, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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The amount of overall gunshot victims has increased, with more than 4,300 gunshot victims in 2021 which is a serious increase from the 2,800 gunshot victims from just three years ago in 2018.

More from the Chicago Tribune:

A two-year snapshot of violence in Chicago shows about a 60% increase in homicides, though the one-year increase overall was significantly smaller at 3.2%.

The 2021 increase was the first time Chicago has recorded more than 700 homicides since 778 were logged in 2016. That increase was quickly reversed, while the 2021 number comes in the second half of the two-year window and as the pandemic continues to roil American society.

There were specific bright spots in the Chicago data, with police districts that have long suffered from high violence posting noteworthy declines in homicides over the one-year period between 2020 and 2021. Those include Austin on the West Side and Englewood and South Chicago on the South Side, according to department data.

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A record number of more than 1,200 guns were taken by police in 2021 with 706 of those guns being assault weapons, a 61 percent increase from 2020.

Seems like a lot of work still has to be done in the Chi to ensure the safety of citizens.