Chicago Police Department records show 2016 to be the deadliest year in the American city’s history. The metropolis witnessed 762 murders and 3,550 shooting incidents. A total of 4,331 people were killed in the same year. In contrast, 2015 saw a total of 480 murders. The latter was the maximum since 1997. Many people were traumatized by the accompanying bloodshed.
Police officers not spared
The statement released by the police said attacks made on police officers were twice compared to previous year (2015). The official publication stated that this is not acceptable at all. A detailed breakdown of such attacks, when asked, were not given. Plans are already being made to counter the increasing homicide cases. The police will recruit an increased number of officers in 2017. Bruce Rauner, the Governor of Illinois, passed gun control laws in August, 2015. The law imposes harder penalties on any person who imports any gun into the state without any identification card. This is applicable if that person wants to sell the weapon.
Chicago police had investigated 27 shooting incidents during December’s last week alone. Among the incidents, 12 of them involved fatalities. Not all statistics turned out to be negative. Police officers made 10 percent more arrests on gun running charges in 2016. About 8,300 guns were taken away. This is an increase of 20 percent from 2015.
Discrimination fed violence
The increased attacks on police officers themselves went up in 2016 in the middle of a country wide uproar that a few police officers were more prone to targeting a few unarmed minority citizens. Social commenters have repeatedly pointed out the perceived rise in social injustice. The factor of consistent illegal gun supply contributed to an increase in crime. Statistics show that Chicago police confiscated about 8,300 illegal firearms in 2015 alone. Most homicides occurred in the West and South sides of the city. These areas are known for gang activity and higher crime rates.
According to Eddie Johnson, the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, these criminals destroy communities and families as well. They also attack serving officers in the Chicago police force. He said that the number of illegal guns seized in the city is more than the guns combined from Los Angeles and New York. The two cities cover areas bigger than Chicago.
Superintendent Johnson said that the police will implement a number of initiatives in 2017 to reduce violence. The new year began with homicide when two people were shot at a bar in Chicago during the early hours of the morning on January 1.