Chicago and Cook County nearing record homicide level

Chicago and Cook County nearing record homicide level
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

There are still records being set around the United States today, but they don’t all involve gold medals for athletes. Cook County, Illinois, including the city of Chicago, has now exceeded 1,000 homicides, a number last seen in 1994 during the bad old days. And they have reached that tragic level with a full month left to go in the year. Hopefully, they won’t ring up the additional 229 killings needed to break their all-time record before New Years Day. Sadly, aside from some lip service, neither the municipal government of Chicago nor the County Executive’s office seems to have a clue as to what to do about it. But the remaining members of the Chicago PD probably have a few suggestions if anyone is willing to listen. (CBS Chicago)

For the first time in more than 30 years, there have been more than 1,000 homicides in Cook County, including 777 in Chicago alone.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said, as of Tuesday, the county’s homicide total stands at 1,009, with more than a month still to go in 2021. Of those, 927 were gun-related homicides.

The last time Cook County had more than 1,000 homicides in one year was 1994, when there were 1,141 homicides. The record for Cook County is 1,229 homicides in 1991. Cook County had 986 homicides last year, a 40% increase over 2019’s total of 675.

This isn’t some sort of slow, gradual increase in violent crime rates. In 2019, Cook County saw 675 homicides, which was bad enough as it was. But now, only two years later, they are passing 1,000 and on track to end up close to the 1994 level. An increase of nearly 50% in 24 months is not normal nor is it just some statistical anomaly.

Also, something like this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There has to be a root cause driving that sort of sustained surge in violence. And for once we’re talking about something that can’t just be blamed on the pandemic. This killing spree kicked off at the same time as the “summer of love” with all of the violent rioters taking to the streets and burning down buildings. Those protesters wanted to defund the police and they got their wish. And look what’s happened since then.

The welcome mat was put out for Chicago’s gangs, seeing that their chances of being arrested had just gone down and the odds that they would spend much time behind bars if they did manage to get caught had decreased as well. Carjacking became the new official municipal sport, with children as young as eleven being enlisted by the gangs to steal people’s vehicles.

It’s also worth noting that the majority of the people being killed are Black and Hispanic residents of the Windy City and the surrounding county. Where is the outrage from liberal activist groups about that? We just had a school shooting in Michigan that tragically took the lives of four people and the media is setting itself on fire over it. But Chicago matches that level of carnage every single weekend and it’s written off as a “local news story.”

The people of Chicago and Cook County deserve better, but they need to demand better from their elected officials. They need to refund and restaff the police and let all of the trigger-pullers out on the streets know that their days are numbered. When apprehended they need to be held without bail and be sentenced to significant jail time when convicted. And if the current crop of elected leaders can’t or won’t get that job done, the affected residents need to give them the boot and replace them with someone who will. But if they won’t help themselves, nobody else is going to do it for them.

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