Chicago has become the most stereotypical example of what many dream the Wild West was like in the days before the law went west of the Mississippi. It is already so bad this year that at 144 total homicides, the city has seen an 84 percent increase over this time last year.
According to DNAInfo.com the first three months of 2016 have seen more shootings than the first three months of any year in over a decade. With 790 shot so far this year, that is over 80 percent higher then the 419 March ended with in 2015.
“We have a level of shootings and level of gun violence on the South and the West side that is unacceptable,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said recently, as he looked for a new top cop earlier this month.
But according to The New York Times, the Chicago police may have some role in the increased violence, because they’ve pulled back from random stops policy they had put in place in years past. Many say these random stops helped reduce the crime rate due to the large number of guns confiscated by the policy. But since the CPD has pulled way back on such stops, these guns are not being removed from the streets. As the Times wrote this month:
Since January, officers have recorded 20,908 instances in which they stopped, patted down and questioned people for suspicious behavior, compared with 157,346 in the same period last year. Gun seizures are also down: 1,316 guns have been taken off the streets this year compared with 1,413 at this time last year.
By contrast, as New York Magazine reports, with almost three times more citizens than Chicago, New York City has had only 60 homicides this year. And that is a 20 percent drop over this time last year.
Still, while an outlier in the huge number of crimes using guns, Chicago is far from the only large U.S. city seeing a rise in the murder rate.
A recent report in The Washington Post found the number of homicides in the country’s 50 largest cities is up 17 percent, the greatest increase in 25 years. The rates are higher over 2015, which itself was a hike over 2014.
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