Chicago Cruises by 2015 Murder Total with 4 Months Left to Go in 2016


SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE – Chicago ticked past a pair of grim milestones as August passed into September. Chicago Police said 90 people were murdered in the city in August. A few hours into Sept.
1, the total number of murders in 2016 reached 469, exceeding the tally for all of last year.

The number of murders in August was the most in a single month during an already bloody year, and the most in a one-month span in 20 years, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Year-to-date, the city has endured a 50 percent increase in murders and a similar spike in other categories of violent crime, while also grappling with public furor over police tactics following the release last year of video of a CPD officer pumping 16 bullets into teenager Laquan McDonald.

August also saw the city’s crime troubles receiving national attention. While other large cities have notched significant surges in violence, the 50 percent increase in shootings and murders in Chicago was an outlier. Numerous news reports have noted that the number of murders in Chicago is greater than the total for New York City and Los Angeles combined.

After Chicago-based rap star and one-time aldermanic candidate Che “Rhymefest” Smith was robbed at gunpoint last Saturday morning, he issued a harsh critique of the police officers who took his report to his Twitter followers.

The day before Rhymefest was robbed, Nykea Aldridge, a cousin of Bulls star Dwyane Wade, became one of the few murder victims in the city to garner attention outside the city when Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, observed in a tweet that her death was a reason for African-Americans to vote for him.

As the long Labor Day weekend loomed, the police union urged members to turn down holiday overtime and stay home, and Gov. Bruce Rauner deflected calls from activists that he should send the National Guard into the city to tamp down violence.

Spencer Leak Sr. said he is only dimly aware of the news or statistics as he goes about his work, but to his staff and clients at Leak & Sons Funeral Home in Chatham, it is clear that something is going wrong on the streets of Chicago.

The business, founded by Leak’s father in 1933, has always drawn clients from the adjacent neighborhoods of Lawndale and Englewood, areas that have seen a disproportionate share of the city’s homicides. Continue Reading

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