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There were 762 murders in Chicago in 2016. It was the deadliest year in nearly two decades.
Here’s how we got to this point, what it means for the city and those whose lives have been changed forever.
WHAT 762 MEANS
The number alone doesn’t tell the entire story of Chicago’s bloodshed. There’s another statistic that points to a disturbing trend the city is facing: a surge.
There was more than a 50% increase in murders in just one year. Chicago hit 500 homicides before the end of the summer in 2016. In 2015, the city had less than 500 homicides total.
Five police districts on the south and west sides of the city accounted for nearly two-thirds of the increase in murders, according to Chicago police.
The day-to-day breakdown of those figures is alarming. For example, there were 12 murders on Father’s Day weekend alone. The youngest victim was just 16.
And crime didn’t subside over the holidays. On Christmas weekend, 12 people were killed, and police investigated 27 shootings.
CHICAGO VS. OTHER CITIES
When you compare Chicago’s murder rate to that of other big cities in the country — New York and Los Angeles, for example — it tops the list.
But Chicago isn’t necessarily the murder capital of the United States.
New Orleans, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore and Newark all have higher figures when you drill down to a per-capita rate.
Chicago vs. other US cities
Number of murders per 100,000 people, 1985–2015