Much of the media focus centering on the Republican and Democratic conventions dealt with the contrast between Donald Trump’s “dark vision” of America as opposed to Hillary Clinton’s cheerful, optimistic outlook. For proof of this, the Democrats chose to selectively highlight various statistics which show that, overall, crime rates in the United States remain lower now than they were during the historically high levels seen in the eighties and early nineties. That much is certainly true, but it’s equally accurate to point out that in certain places things have gotten considerably worse over the last several years, primarily in large, urban centers. A new report out of Chicago this month demonstrates the truth in that observation, particularly when it comes to the murder rate in the Windy City. (Chicago Tribune)
Chicago’s per capita homicide rate climbed over the last decade, and the chances of an African-American being killed in the city spiked drastically, according to a new report.
From 2005 to 2015, the city went from 17.3 homicides per 100,000 residents to a rate of about 18.8, according to a report from the Injury Prevention and Research Center at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
But the report held particularly troubling news for African-Americans. The rate for blacks in Chicago jumped from 36.1 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2005 to 46.5 a decade later. Other studies have shown steep drops in the city’s African-American population in recent years, but crime figures remain stubbornly high in many largely black neighborhoods.
These are some pretty bleak figures, most especially for black residents of Chicago. The murder rate for whites has stayed relatively flat, even decreasing slightly to 2.7 per 100,000 residents in 2015. For Hispanic residents, there was a small increase to 11.3 homicides per 100,000. But for black citizens, the numbers are staggering. Their overall murder rate rose to 36.1 and for young black people aged 20 to 24 it was 64.3. This was far and away the leading cause of death for Chicago residents in that demographic.
Of course, the authors of the study are seeking to treat this as a health epidemic rather than a failure of generations of Democratic policies. That keeps them in line with the general theme of liberals who want the Centers for Disease Control to issue “studies” on gun violence as a medical issue.
“Gun violence remains the leading cause of death for young people in Chicago,” Karen Sheehan, an emergency room physician and medical director of the Injury Prevention and Research Center, said in a news release. “If we truly want to prevent firearm injuries and death, we will treat this like the public health crisis it is and invest in understanding and addressing this epidemic.”
All of this is leaving Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a tough spot. He’s got a city full of protesters who want him to “do something” about police shootings of suspects, but at the same time the entire city is on edge over their rising murder rate. Perhaps rather than asking the current mayor to do something, the voters of Chicago and the rest of Illinois could consider bringing in some different people with a new plan.