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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Chicago Sees Drop in Violence After All-Time High Last Year, But is Still A Very Deadly City

Chicago violence aftermath

A local grandmother cries after learning that both of her grandsons have been killed

Chicago, IL — In the past two years, Chicago has experienced a surge in violence rate with 650 homicides in 2017 and 762 homicides in 2016 where the majority of it has occurred in poor and predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods. The first months of this year, however, saw a decrease in violence rate in the city.

On March 30, 2017, three separate incidents of shootings happened over a 12-hour period in the South Shore neighborhood. Seven were dead including Patrice Calvin, a 26-year-old pregnant woman, who was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

The day before, two people, one was a documented gang member, were also shot near the South Shore Cultural Center. Four victims were also found dead in or around the Nadia Fish and Restaurant. Investigators believed that the shootings were gang-related.

This year, Chicago recorded 286 shooting incidents and 78 slayings through the first two months, down from 399 shooting incidents and 101 slayings at the same time last year.

While there has been a decrease in shootings, Chicago is still beset with gun violence. Last February, Chicago police commander Paul Bauer was fatally shot by Shomari Legghette, a four-time felon whom officers including Bauer tried to chase after fleeing.

Moreover, residents in the area are still wary for their safety. They say that they cannot seem to notice progress in what the police and politicians claim.

“The politicians, or the police, they’re not doing their job,” said Natasha Dunn, a South Shore resident, told USA Today. “The police, most of them mean well, but for the most part there is this lax way of dealing with crime in our community because there is this perception that we are all criminals. We are being ignored.”

“President Trump, Governor Bruce Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, if they cannot find a bonafide solution that actually stops violence in Chicago, then they should start providing the young men on the South and West sides of Chicago with bulletproof vests and helmets,” said Tio Hardiman, who heads “violence interrupters” in Chicago that mediates gang conflicts before it turns violent.