The city of Chicago has long been the epitome of violence. News reports come out every week detailing the vicious murders that occurred over the previous weekend. It seems like the situation keeps getting worse, but no one in power is actually doing something about it. Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to be totally ignorant of the situation, and the residents of Chicago’s most crime ridden neighborhoods continue to be complacent at best. Here, we’ll take a look at crime in Chicago and why no one is doing anything to stop it.
How Bad is Crime in the Windy City?
Violent crimes and homicide numbers keep snowballing. As mentioned above, the weekends seem to be the most popular time for violent crimes to take place. A recent report stated that violent crime has risen by 78% so far this year. This comes as no surprise as we just look at the recent homicides that were reported in the city over the weekend of May 15th. A teenage girl was stabbed to death during a fight in the area of Southside Gardens. Two young men were shot to death in the area of Austin. The list just goes on and on. These are just a few of the deaths that occurred over the weekend.
The week of May 8th to May 14th alone had 20 homicides. In the month of May, which we are just half way through at this point, there were 41 homicides total. You have to remember that these stats are at the writing of this article, and the number is likely higher at this point. At this rate, the month of May should close out with around 80 homicides. This number is higher than the annual totals for some countries!
Multiple Victim Crimes Are Common
The stats clearly show that violence is being hashed out in an undiscriminating manner. Most homicides or violent crimes are occurring against more than just one victim. This suggests that gang violence may be a major culprit, or just that the shooters are acting in a reckless manner when attacking a single target. Look at the following chart which describes the numbers in terms of victims affected:
One terrifying fact that can be gleaned from the above chart is that when the number of victims is higher, there is a higher likelihood that nearly all of them will be killed. After we add up all the numbers from all types of violent crimes, we find that there have been a total of 232 homicides this year alone in Chicago.
Why Crime Isn’t Slowing Down
Many people blame an over strained police force for the problems in Chicago. Others point to the political leaders who don’t seem to care because the crimes are occurring in predominately African-American neighborhoods. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Police face unique challenges when trying to fight violent crime in Chicago. The police force often faces a lack of sufficient resources to combat crime in an appropriate manner. They also have to deal with cultural issues in the black community, such as the “no snitching” policy which is strictly enforced on the streets. When police don’t get help from the community members in the area where crimes occur, they cannot do their job effectively.
One could argue that Chicago needs tougher gun laws to stop the violence. However, according to a criminal lawyer Sacramento, Chicago already has some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S. The problem isn’t the guns; it’s the people who are using them. The crime ridden communities themselves need to start policing their own communities and assisting police to remove violent offenders from the street.
Unlike the situation in Baltimore, where the government declared a state of emergency following the Freddie Gray protests, Chicago has yet to recognize the problem on a formal level. Many people say that Mayor Emmanuel is avoiding the topic to keep his image as pristine as possible. Others also point out that President Obama (a long-time Chicago resident) has also been inexplicably quiet on the topic. It could be that the Democrats are trying to sweep the problem under the rug in an election year because the city is heavily Democratic in nature. The need for political intervention is clear, but we are all still waiting for someone to take action.
Chicago is violent for many reasons. It is like a hotchpotch of the perfect conditions for a violent society. We think the city needs a serious overhaul before it becomes the new Wild West. However, this will take the effort of the community, the police, and politicians working in unison to combat the problem. No one side will be able to stop the violence all on its own!