Deadliest US city records most murders since 1990s
2021 was Chicago’s deadliest year in 25 years, according to new statistics. Nearly 800 homicides and over 3,500 shootings took place in the city last year as the authorities struggle to rein in violent crime.
Chicago recorded 797 homicides in 2021 – the most in the city since 1996. According to AP, 2021’s murder death toll was 25 victims higher than 2020 and 299 victims higher than 2019.
Shootings also saw a substantial rise in 2021, with Chicago recording 3,561 incidents, over 300 more than the year prior, and 75 Chicago police officers were either shot or shot at in the line of duty.
The city experienced more homicides in 2021 than any other city in the US, including the much larger New York and Los Angeles. The majority of the victims were gunned down amid gang warfare, according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
“We all know this has been a challenging year here in the city of Chicago,” Brown said during a press conference this week, adding that “too many families are reeling from the loss” of family members and friends “due to senseless gun violence.”
Brown said there would be “more officers on the street, not just in patrol cars or behind desks, to interact with all Chicagoans” in 2022, and that the department would work harder to “build on positive interactions between the community and law enforcement.”
There have been mounting accusations against the city government of not doing enough to curb the ongoing crime wave. A local 911 dispatcher went viral in December after going on a rant against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The dispatcher, Keith Thornton, accused Lightfoot of turning Chicago into a “death zone” and said “the blood” of victims in the city “is on her hands.”
“This is the absolute worst that it’s been where it is affecting every part of the community within Chicago, every part of the town,” he said.