By JOSEPH QUESADA
Chicago, Illinois: typically revered as a landmark American city, famed for its cuisine, architecture and historical prowess, now seems to be overshadowed by the constant news of violence and extreme homicide rates.
Throughout the past few years, Chicago has climbed to the tops of homicide charts in the US, creating a very negative stigma that surrounds the city. Gun violence is prominent, having been the cause of 426 deaths this year alone. The black community in Chicago, especially in the south and west sections of the city, have been heavily targeted, accounting for over 350 of this year’s deaths. Males aging from 20-30 years are heavily victimized, as they have the highest rate of homicidal death throughout the city. Those who live in impoverished areas are especially vulnerable to gun violence, as 84% of all violent crimes happen within the confines of poor neighborhoods.
A common theme within the city is the inability of the Chicago Police Department to solve murder cases. Throughout many of the impoverished neighborhoods of Chicago’s infamous south side, street gangs flood the streets with drugs, guns and criminal activities. This being said, much of Chicago’s gun violence stems from street gangs and gang members. With these gangs terrorizing neighborhoods, citizens are reluctant to reveal crucial information that may lead to imprisonment of individual murderers. Networks of street criminals prove to be an insurmountable task for Chicago’s PD to handle, as there are more cases of homicide than the police department knows how to deal with. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago police are only able to solve about 1 in 20 murder cases: a drastically low rate. These communities are in such disarray and flooded with such crime and gun violence that achieving justice for the people affected by crime in the city is close to impossible.
2016 proved itself to be Chicago’s worst year, murder-wise, with a death-per-capita rate reaching 25.1 per 100,000 residents. According to the Chicago Tribune, 762 murders, over 4,000 shooting victims and 3,500 shooting incidents all occurred in 2016, marking it as one of the deadliest years on record.
Chicago’s violent gun problem stems from a complex series of variables, all of which contribute to the city topping murder charts in the US. With homicide and violent crime rates sitting at an exponential level, the city is desperate to find a way to ease the problem and correct the system.
Ansari, A. (2017, January 02). Chicago’s 762 homicides in 2016 is highest in 19 years. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/01/us/chicago-murders-2016/index.html
Kight, S. W., & Sykes, M. (1970, August 14). The deadliest city: Behind Chicago’s segregated shooting sprees. Retrieved from https://www.axios.com/chicago-gun-violence-murder-rate-statistics-4addeeec-d8d8-4ce7-a26b-81d428c14836.htm
Chicago Tribune. (2018, December 03). Tracking Chicago homicide victims. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-homicides-data-tracker-htmlstory.html