From the Chicago Tribune:
August most violent month in Chicago in nearly 20 yearsWhat’s particularly ironic is that Chicagoans have largely been running the federal government for the last 7.5 years.
Jeremy Gorner, Peter Nickeas and Elvia Malagon
… Tavon was among more than 400 people shot in Chicago this month. There have been at least 78 homicides, marking August as the most violent month in the city in almost 20 years, according to data provided by the Chicago Police Department. And there are two more days to go.
Chicago has recorded 487 homicides and more than 2,800 people shot so far this year, compared to 491 homicides and 2,988 people shot all of last year, according to Tribune data.
Chicago has a lower homicide rate than many other U.S. cities that are smaller in population. But this year, the city has recorded more homicides and shooting victims than New York City and Los Angeles combined, even though the two cities are larger than Chicago’s population of roughly 2.6 million.
… The gun violence in Chicago has been concentrated on the South and West sides that have lost population over the years as other areas have grown. …
Chicago police officials have cited the constant flow of illegal firearms through dangerous neighborhoods and an intractable gang problem – with some disputes beginning on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter – as strong contributors to the city’s violence. …
Earlier this month, Johnson met with several police chiefs from across the country to discuss the nation’s gun violence problem, noting that over 40 U.S. cities experienced spikes in violence last year after years of decreases in the number of killings.
Cities like Milwaukee and Washington, D.C – both much smaller than Chicago in population – saw homicide spikes that they haven’t experienced in more than two decades.
The surge in violence comes at a tumultuous time for the Chicago Police Department. It is still dealing with the aftermath of the court-ordered release of video showing Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing the teen as he walked away from police with a knife in his hand.
The public furor from the video’s release last November led Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire Garry McCarthy as the superintendent. Murder charges were filed against Van Dyke, the head of the police oversight agency resigned, and the U.S. Department of Justice began a wide-ranging civil rights investigation into the department.
Earlier this year, the Tribune reported a precipitous drop in morale among Chicago police officers, based on interviews with officers.