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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Chicago Crime Statistics By Year

Why Overall Crime Fell While Murder Increased

Chicago crime statistics for June: Spike in murders, shootings

The rise in murder rate for 2020 is expected to be around 25 percent, the largest increase in U.S. history, in records dating to 1960. That equates to roughly 20,000 murders last year.

And yet overall crime went down, a fact that only 28 percent of readers knew. The F.B.I. will release its official figures in September, but the preliminary data from over 12,000 law enforcement agencies suggests it was probably one of the largest declines on record.

Property crime was down 7.9 percent in 2020 relative to 2019, according to this data. The national murder trend usually gets the headlines for good reason but property crime makes up around 85 percent of all major crimes reported by the F.B.I. Murder made up 0.2 percent of all major crimes reported by the F.B.I. in 2019, and even a historically large increase in murder would barely move the needle in terms of overall crime.

Its not altogether surprising that overall crime would drop in 2020 it has fallen in 26 of the last 28 years, including each of the last 17 years. Since most crime is property crime, and since property crime can flourish when people need to be out and about a shoplifter needs stores to be open, for example nationwide quarantines and reduced mobility last year most likely contributed to reduced property crime pretty much everywhere.

Arrests Plunge In 2021

Meanwhile, arrests have fallen significantly.

Through December of last year, less than 12% of 203,530 reported crimes resulted in an arrest, according to city data analyzed by the Sun-Times. Thats way down from the numbers from 2019 that were presented during the meeting. That year, arrests were made in more than 21% of the 260,889 reported crimes.

In addition to the dwindling ranks, one source pointed to a variety of reasons for the dropoff: Weed was legalized in 2020, COVID-19 emerged, new reforms were implemented and more charges have been rejected or downgraded. Nevertheless, the source said the huge decrease is not acceptable.

At the same time, the department remains under a federal consent decree aimed at overhauling its training, policies and practices. But the sources said some departmental directives, like the foot pursuit policy, have already hindered officers who feel unsupported and remain fearful of making missteps or putting themselves in situations that could lead to disciplinary action.

Ed Yohnka, a spokesman for the Illinois chapter of the ACLU, insisted the plan to press for more arrests is alarming and appears to be a step in the wrong direction. He said the department should instead be focused on complying with the consent decree and improving community policing.

How does it help that the first time theres an outcry to go right back to those same failed policies? Yohnka said. Theres one thing that I can guarantee you is it wont work.

Lightfoot Budget Includes Money For Cops Mental Health

Hopkins complained that City Council members cant find out how many cops are working at any given time.

But he also said controlling crime requires a holistic approach and addressing deeply rooted issues like homelessness and mental health.

Its past time to stop pitting social services and mental health funding against funding for police and traditional law enforcement programs, the alderperson said. They should not be competing against each other. Theyre both part of the solution, and theyre both justified in the call for increased funding.

Lightfoots 2022 budget, approved this past week, increases the police departments budget by $189 million, to just under $1.9 billion. It also includes $86 million for the Chicago Department of Public Healths mental health budget. Of that, $52 million would be new funding.

The budget includes $12 million for a stabilization housing program and a proposed facility with up to 60 beds for homeless people while they receive on-site psychiatric and substance abuse treatment.

Another $15 million would fund 911 response teams with mental health professionals.

This crime wave must end, and it can end, Hopkins said. And theres things we can do to help bring about that end. And thats what the conversation should focus on.

Tom Schuba, Andy Grimm and Frank Main are Sun-Times staff reporters. David Struett is a Sun-Times wire reporter. Data analysis by Andy Boyle and Jesse Howe.

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Lori Lightfoot Said Chicagos Crime Is Falling Heres What The Numbers Say

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot berated a journalist who questioned her citys rising crime rate and claimed that the crime rate is actually falling. Unfortunately, her citys official crime statistics show a year-on-year increase in violent crime and a massive spike since she took office two years ago.

What Lori Lightfoot Said About Chicagos Crime Rate:

Mayor Lightfoot attempted to downplay Chicagos explosive violent crime rate during a press conference last Friday. Do you owe an apology to the victims of violent crime, the thousands of unsolved shootings and murders and random stabbings in the downtown, on the South side, on the North side, on the West side? Do you owe these people any apology? asked Newsmax reporter William Kelly.

Sir, I ask you to get your facts right, Lightfoot replied. Crime is not out of control in our city. In fact, crime is on the decline. All of our major indices show a decline in crime, and our homicides and our shootings year over year are down. Thats a fact, Sir.

When Kelly tried to ask a follow-up question, Lightfoot responded, Sir, I was polite and allowed you to spew your rhetoric, which is offensive to me and others, but Im trying to be polite and professional and answer your question. But if you want to write your own narrative, and irrelevant to what Im gonna say and what the facts are, then well just move on to the next reporter.

What the Facts Say About Chicagos Crime Rate:

Crime Top Of Mind For Retailers

Chicagos Murder Rate is Typical for a Major Metropolis ...

Farzin Parang, executive director of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago, worries that crime and the fear of crime are now detractors from people coming back as pandemic restrictions ease.

Weve often asked for a strategy of promoting visibility in particular, having officers moving around visible, he said. A lot of that goes towards what I refer to as the distinct problem of perception of crime and safety.

Even as thefts have dropped dramatically this year, Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said Chicago has become an epicenter for organized retail crime, pointing to an armed robbery spree earlier this month that hit 7-Eleven stores in the Loop.

Its not the same as a 14-year-old walking out with a candy bar, Karr said. These are coordinated. They have shopping lists. They prepare with U-Haul vans and getaway cars. And it is being used to fund other criminal activity.

Crime is now top of mind for retailers weighing whether to move to the city and for those considering whether to leave, he said.

Karr said hes not aware of any business owners leaving due to crime. But he said crime has affected decisions to close store locations and cut back hours in some cases.

Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, theres a perception that it is increasingly unsafe downtown, he said. And I think its going to take a concerted effort by everyone in leadership to address it over a long term.


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Why People Misperceive Crime Trends

What readers got wrong and right in our quiz.

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By Toni Monkovic and Jeff Asher

Cities can be like people in at least one respect it can be tough to shake a bad reputation.

A recent New York Times quiz revealed some common misperceptions about crime trends, the most widely held of which involved Chicago. Readers were asked to rank Chicago nationally in murder rate. The options were first, third, fifth or seventh. Most picked first, and only 8 percent chose the right answer .

Chicago has struggled mightily to contain violence, but its reputation has probably also been shaped by portrayals in film and TV news coverage and political messaging.

Former President Donald J. Trump repeatedly criticized Chicago, saying it was worse than Afghanistan. And conservatives have long depicted Chicago as a crime capital. The reasons could include an opportunity to fault President Obama for not keeping his home city safe and to argue that gun restrictions are not able to stop violent crime. Defenders of those restrictions point out that nearby states have lax gun regulations and thus undercut Chicagos efforts.

In general, Republicans have found big liberal cities inviting targets for criticism as part of racial politics.

The Right Answer On Defunding

It has become common to blame falling police budgets for last years increase in murders. The National Fraternal Order of Police, the former N.Y.P.D. commissioner Bill Bratton and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas have been among those making that connection.

Yet the available evidence a comparison of changes in murder with changes in the operational budgets for police departments in 105 big cities suggests that budgetary changes were not a cause of last years murder increase.

Most of the cities increased their police budgets last year, with the budgets decreasing in just 37 of the 105. Places that reduced their police budget were about as likely to see a rise in murder as places that increased it. Murder was up in 31 of the 37 cities that lowered their police budgets , while it was up in 54 of the 68 cities of cities that raised their police budgets.

It may seem as if the cuts in police budgets were in response to the defund movement. But the changes in budgets last year were relatively normal for times of economic distress. During the Great Recession, for example, between 19 percent and 47 percent of these 105 agencies reduced their budgets each year, according to census data compiled by PoliceScorecard.org.

Over 80 percent of readers correctly answered that there was no relationship, the highest accuracy rate for readers of any question in the quiz.

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A Call To Go Back To Basics

But Lightfoots wide-ranging response to crime hasnt won over critics on the City Council.

Ald. Raymond Lopez has emerged as one of the mayors loudest detractors and a more conservative alderperson. Lopez called for more aggressive policing, a get back to basics approach he said is needed to contain crime before shifting to programs that target poverty and the cycle of violence.

Many of our officers are not arresting people, are letting crimes that happen right in front of them go by because they dont want to be misconstrued as being racist or being held liable for any kind of misconceived notions of brutality or whatever, he said.

Lopez wants the police department to address looting and pervasive carjackings by revisiting chase policies and procedures that he said prevent cops from apprehending crime suspects. But hes also pushing ordinances aimed specifically at tamping down crime.

In June, for example, he introduced legislation that would fine kids and young adults for breaking certain laws like breaking curfew, public intoxication and having a gun and require them to undergo family counseling. The measure is part of a larger effort to invest as much money in restoring families in their values as we do in anti-violence initiatives, he said.

Otherwise, we might as well just set on fire the $80 million were putting aside for anti-violence because none of it will matter if you have someone without values or empathy for other people, Lopez said.

Public Corruption And Political Crime

Chicago’s murder rate reached record numbers in 2016

Chicago has a long history of public corruption that regularly draws the attention of federal law enforcement and federal prosecutors. Chicago’s political landscape has been firmly under the control of the Democratic Party for over 85 years and has been widely described as a political machine. In the 1980s, the FBI’s Operation Greylord uncovered massive and systemic corruption in Chicago’s judicial system. Greylord was the longest and most successful undercover operation in the history of the FBI, and resulted in 92 federal indictments, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, eight policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, eight court officials, and one state legislator. Nearly all were convicted on a variety of charges including bribery, kickbacks, fraud, vote buying, racketeering, and drug trafficking.

Examples of other high-profile Chicago political figures convicted on corruption related charges include Rod Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson Jr., Isaac Carothers, Arenda Troutman, Edward Vrdolyak, Otto Kerner, Jr., Constance Howard, Fred Roti and Dan Rostenkowski.

In October 2015, the FBI announced that Michael Anderson would be taking over for a retiring Robert Holley as Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Bureau. Anderson, a corruption veteran who wrote the FBI Public Corruption Field Guide, called Chicago “target rich” for cases in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. Anderson commands a team of 850 agents in Chicago along with analysts and support staff.

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Us Crime: Is America Seeing A Surge In Violence

New York has become the first state in the US to declare an emergency to tackle increasing levels of gun violence, directing extra funds for programmes aimed at preventing shootings.

“More people are now dying from gun violence and crime than Covid,” state governor Andrew Cuomo said.

President Joe Biden has also promised renewed efforts to tackle crime in the US, as a series of major cities experience spikes in violent offences.

We’ve taken a look at the violent crime trends across the US.

Sharp Rise In Unanswered 911 Calls

A Sun-Times analysis found a sharp rise in the number of 911 calls that the police have been unable to answer. Radio assignment pending events when there are no police cars to respond to a call in a district have jumped 64% through the end of September, from 4,795 last year at this time to 7,854 this year.


Cant get Chicago cops to take your police report on the phone? Youre not alone. Just ask Kiama Doyle.

Compared to this time in 2019, the volume of unanswered calls has more than doubled.

Officers still answer urgent calls, such as shootings. But they dont respond to other reported crimes, like shoplifting or burglaries.

In the Central and Near North police districts, there were 433 assignments pending, up 52% over the same period last year.

Still, the data shows such backups are mostly concentrated in police districts on the citys South Side and West Side, where crime is the heaviest. A single police beat in West Garfield Park, for example, has had 62 shootings this year.

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