Chicago continues to endure record-setting violence, even at the start of the new year. January 1st was met with 28 shootings and 11 fatalities.
— ChicagoBreaking (@ChicagoBreaking) January 3, 2017
In 2016, Chicago saw 3,550 shootings, or 9.7 shootings per day. This drastic increase in gun violence aligns with law enforcement’s decision to begin tracking its residents in 2011. With a demoralized and distrusted police force, tensions have heightened. Protests and complaints of widespread police misconduct is a daily fight for the city’s residents.
“The increase in violence, largely driven by gun crimes in the South and West Sides of the city, is unacceptable, and we’re working day and night to address it,” Matt McGrath, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said. “In September, the mayor announced his plan to hire nearly 1,000 new police officers as part of a comprehensive law enforcement reform package designed to restore community trust and increase police effectiveness. At the same time, the mayor strongly believes this is not exclusively a police matter and is committed to making investments in education and citywide economic development – including the expansion of universal mentoring for young men in the most violent neighborhoods.”
ABC News contributor John Cohen, a law enforcement and homeland security expert, believes there are three factors behind this violence: An increase in gang activity, an increase in the availability and accessibility of illegal guns, and an increase in the reluctance by law enforcement to practice violence prevention policies.
These frequent bursts of deadly violence in Chicago have brought stories of personal tragedy and struggle to national attention.