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article imageChicago 2016: 762 murders, 3,550 shootings

By Arthur Weinreb     Jan 2, 2017 in Crime
Chicago - The numbers are in and Chicago recorded the most murders in 2016 since 1996. The number of people murdered in the Windy City during 2016 stands at 762, the highest number since 796 homicides were recorded twenty years ago.
The statistics were released on New Year’s Day by the Chicago Police Department. While Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, the number of homicide victims in the city during the year exceeded those murdered in New York City and Los Angeles combined. Chicago also recorded 3,550 shooting incidents where 4,331 people suffered gunshot wounds.
The last murder of 2016 occurred around 1 p.m. Saturday. A 24-year-old man was shot to death in an apparent act of road rage. It is believed the man was killed after he hit a Mercedes.
The number of murders was up 65 percent over 2015 while the number of shootings increased almost 50 percent over last year. The increase in violent crime came mainly from five police districts in the city’s West Side and South Side.
Shortly after 2017 was ushered in, the violence appeared to be continuing at the same pace. Around 4:30 a.m. New Year’s Day, a 38-year-old man and a 25-year-old man began shooting at each other. Both were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead. Jan. 1 also saw the first 2017 incident of a police-involved shooting.
According to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, a male in his 40s was speeding and went through a stop sign. Police tried to pull him over but he refused to stop. The speeding car kept going up on the sidewalk, sideswiping other vehicles and smashed into a police car. When the man left the vehicle he struggled with officers. Johnson said when police were unable to restrain him, they shot him twice. He was taken to hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Three police officers were also taken to hospital for injuries and later released.
Johnson blamed the increase in violence on the country’s “anti-police sentiment” as well as on light sentencing guidelines for repeat gun offenders. Much of the killing spree was gang-related. Johnson said gang members would rather have police catch them with a gun than rival gang members catch them without one.
The police superintendent also announced a new crime reduction plan for 2017. The plan includes hiring more officers, giving incentives to developers to create jobs in high-crime areas, mentoring teens in the most violent neighbourhoods, revising the CPD’s community policing plan and strengthening gun laws for repeat offenders.
The Chicago Police Department also intends to make greater use of technology such as street cameras and body cameras. Johnson is hopeful with the new initiatives and and greater use of technology, the rate of violent crime will decrease in 2017.
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