Chicago Shootings, Homicides Higher Than at the Start of Violent 2016

Forty-three crosses sit in a vacant lot in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago on Jan. 23, 2017. Each cross, created by Greg Zanis, represents a victim of murder in Chicago in 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Forty-three crosses sit in a vacant lot in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago on Jan. 23, 2017. Each cross, created by Greg Zanis, represents a victim of murder in Chicago in 2017. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

For Chicago, 2016 closed out as the deadliest year in two decades.

And it seems as if 2017 may be setting up to become just as grim; the Chicago Tribune reports that shootings and homicides in the Windy City are higher than they were this time last January.

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According to the report, as of early Monday, at least 228 people have been shot so far this year, a 5.5 percent increase from the 216 that had been shot within the same time period last year. There have also been at least 42 homicides, marking a 23.5 percent jump from the 34 homicides that occurred during the same period in 2016.

As the Tribune notes, Chicago closed out January 2016 with 50 homicides, the most for the month in the city in at least 16 years. The year ended with 783 homicides, the most since 1996.

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This January, the city has already seen several violent weekends. Over New Year’s weekend, 55 people were shot, five of whom were fatally wounded. The following weekend, two people were killed and seven injured in shootings.

Over Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, 39 people were shot, 10 of whom were killed. And over this past weekend, 54 people were shot, six of them fatally.

The grim data came out just days before President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets taking aim at the city, telling it to fix the “horrible carnage” going on or he would send in the feds.

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Lord knows what that means, but it doesn’t sound as if it would be a solution (to use the word lightly) that anyone should look forward to.

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Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi

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DISCUSSION

How was the weather year over year? Warmer winters mean more shootings. And that first warm weekend after winter? Sheeeeet, we’d sometimes stay home. It doesn’t explain the overall trend, but is a contributing factor.

Source: I lived in Chicago for 30+ years.

I’ve posted this before, but there are a lot of factors for Chicago’s violence:

1. Chicago is highly segregated with a long history of racism.
2. Multiple school closings have “forced” enemy gangs (or wannabes) together.
3. Police have been successful in locking up gang leaders, which creates a vacuum and turf wars.
4. Really racist/corrupt cops and general distrust of the police (e.g. their black sites).
5. Like many communities the loss of manufacturing jobs in the South Side of Chicago and Northern Indiana.
6. Neighboring a state with easy access to guns, despite having strict gun laws.
7. Budget issues/ priorities have caused many crime prevention programs to be defunded. And yes, pensions are a big part of that problem
8. Conversion of many schools to charter schools, causes the underperforming students to be kicked out and neglected.
9. School funding is primarily through real estate taxes, with fewer opportunities to fund poorer areas.
10. State budget issues.
11. Chicago is a large drug distribution center. There is a large Mexican cartel presence.

Note, I said “factor,” and not each item being the sole cause.