Homicides in the Windy City has just reached the grim milestone of 500 in a period of just nine months.
A deadly Labor Day weekend in Chicago tha resulted in 13 people killed has resulted in the third-largest U.S. city reaching the grim total of 500 homicides, putting it on track to hit a murder rate not seen since the brutal drug wars of the ’90s. August alone saw 92 murders, making it the deadliest month in the city since June 1993.
The murder rate is up 50 percent this year, and Chicago is now outperforming much larger cities like New York and Los Angeles … combined.
And the year’s not even over yet. At this rate, Chicago will eclipse 600 murders for 2016, something that has not been seen with 2003. In the 1990s, the city regularly recorded more than 700 murders per year, and this year’s rate is frighteningly reminiscent of those dark times as a crack cocaine epidemic raged in the city and gang violence ruled the streets.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says weak gun laws and more gang activity are to blame for the rise in violence lately. The city has long struggled with violence even in good times, developing a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in America, if not the most dangerous city.
Nine people were killed in a span of just 14 hours on Labor Day, highlighting just how bad things have gotten in Chicago.
And it comes at a time when violent crime is decreasing across the country. New York is one city that has seen crime rates drop, with just 227 murders through Aug. 28 despite being far larger than Chicago.