Black Chicagoans 20X likelier to be homicide victims; arrest rate hits record low

Black Chicagoans 20X likelier to be homicide victims; arrest rate hits record low

Black Chicagoans were over 20 times more likely to become homicide victims during the past 12 months than their white peers, with 9-in-10 homicides on the South Side and West Side. Hopes of catching killers hit a new low.

Black Chicagoans are 20 times more likely to be murdered than white residents, with the expectation of an arrest for the crime hitting a record low.

Hispanic Chicagoans were nearly 5 times more likely to be a homicide victim than their white counterparts. The stats were for the 12 months through April.

The arrest rate for these felonies hit a record low. Only 1-in-4 homicides resulted in an arrest between May 2023 and April 2024, compared to the same period in previous years.

In contrast, Chicago police made an arrest in 39% of homicide cases between May 2022 and April 2023. The number of arrests fell from 278 during that time to 148 through April of this year.

Chicago’s decade-long, nation-leading homicide crisis saw some relief during the past 12 months. Total cases dropped from 713 to 603, but Black Chicagoans were the victims in 77% of those cases where the victims’ race was known.

While Black Chicagoans were homicide victims 20 times more often than white residents, Hispanic Chicagoans were 4.7 times more likely to be homicide victims. Hispanic residents were 18% of homicide victims from May 2023 through April 2024.

Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood on the South Side led the city in homicides during the past 12 months, reporting 51 homicides and just eight arrests since May 2023. West Garfield Park on the city’s West Side experienced the second-most homicides at 49 and 13 arrests.

In total, 9 out of every 10 homicides reported during the past 12 months occurred on the city’s South Side and West Side. In contrast, 24 of Chicago’s 94 neighborhoods experienced no homicides during that time, with the majority on the city’s North Side.

Among the victims, 109 Chicagoans were under age 20. They represented 18.4% of all homicide victims. Overall, 45.7% of homicide victims with known age and race data were under 30.

So far Johnson’s response to rising, violent crime has been to reduce budgeted police by 833 positions. The Chicago Police Department is operating with at least 1,447 fewer officers than in 2019 when former Mayor Lori Lightfoot took office.

Studies show the more police there are, the lower the crime totals. They also show it’s important to have officers visible, especially at night.

City leaders must face this problem, which means making sure enough police officers are on the beat and in the right roles, the courts can process cases efficiently, and prosecutors and judges are able to do their jobs effectively.

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