A 'Troubling Decline' Continues in Chicago

Fewer homicides are being solved
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2018 2:32 PM CDT
A 'Troubling Decline' Continues in Chicago
A Chicago police officer strings crime scene tape.   (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune via AP)

A "troubling decline" in the number of homicides solved by Chicago police is continuing, USA Today reports. According to data obtained by the paper, the city's homicide clearance rate was 15.4% during the first half of the year, meaning that a suspect was identified or arrested in fewer than one in six cases. The rate for 2017 was 17.1%. As of late August, there had been 365 killings in the nation's third-largest city, per the Washington Post. The clearance rate for nonfatal shootings is far lower at 5.6%, according to USA Today, with just 50 of 900 cases in the first six months of 2018 being cleared (the Post puts the number of nonfatal shootings so far this year at 1,600).

"That's the norm in this city. We live amongst a lot of killers," Deangelo Norwood told the Post last month. Norwood was seriously injured and his brother was killed in a July 30 shooting. "Ain't nobody been locked up. And they ain't trying to solve nothing." Officials tell USA Today that part of the problem is the "interchangeable" nature of shooters and victims. "These are guys who are shooting back and forth at each other on a consistent basis," says Deputy Chief Brendan Deenihan. "They just want to get even with the people who shot at them." Homicide clearance rates are falling nationwide, USA Today notes, with the national rate dropping to an all-time low of 59.4% in 2016. As for Chicago, Deenihan says, "We live in a society today where people don't cooperate with the police." (Read more Chicago stories.)

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