Chicago on track to have highest murder total in more than two decades

Chicago’s murder rate is currently about 50% above what it was at this time last year according to data released by the Chicago Police Department.

Chicago has seen a rise in murder cases, not just compared to the previous year but compared to the previous four years, according to figures released by the Chicago Police Department.

The CPD regularly posts statistics about crime in the city, both week to week and year to year. A look at recent stats shows that murder has risen in the city, doubling in the first week of October from the previous week with 15 murders, and the city is on track to hit around double the number of murders compared to 2019…

Police, researchers, mayors and community leaders see a confluence of factors, specifically the lockdowns in various states.

Lockdowns and recession mean tensions are running high and streets have been emptied of eyes and ears on their communities. Some attribute the rise to an increase in gang violence.


The graph above is taken from this Chicago Tribune report. It shows that as of Oct. 10 Chicago has seen 605 murders, more than this point in any recent year. Prior to 2020, Chicago’s last biggest surge in murders happened in 2016. At the time, 2016 was the highest number of murders the city had seen in 19 years.

There were 795 murders in 2016 but as of October 4th, the police report the city is running about 5 percent ahead of those numbers this year. So if Chicago does exceed the murder toll in 2016, 2020 will have the highest number of murders since at least 1997 or perhaps even earlier. But hey, at least the mayor is safe in “Fort Lori.”

Just this weekend, five more people were killed and another 47 were wounded:

Chicago police say five people have been killed and at least 47 others wounded in shootings across the city over the weekend so far.

The city’s most recent deadly shooting occurred at approximately 9:55 p.m. Sunday when a 25-year-old man was a passenger in a vehicle in the 8600 block of South State. A blue sedan approached and began shooting into the vehicle, then drove northbound on State.

The man was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital in critical condition, where he was later pronounced dead.

Just this weekend four minors were shot including two 17-year-olds and two 15-year-olds. As of today, no one has been arrested in connection with any of the murders.


Finally, it’s worth noting that there hasn’t been a comparable spike in other crimes in Chicago. In fact, other serious crimes including sexual assault, burlary and robbery are all down this year compared to previous years. The spike in the murder rate isn’t just a local issue but a national one. As Jazz noted last week, New York City has already surpassed the number of murders that took place in the city last year.

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