Chicago Has Its Deadliest Month in About Two Decades

Monica Davey, New York Times, September 1, 2016

In a city wrestling with a rise in gun violence and turmoil in its police department, August seemed like the longest month. By midnight on Wednesday, 90 murders had occurred in August alone, making it the deadliest month in Chicago in about 20 years.

Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, has experienced more homicides this year than the bigger cities of Los Angeles and New York combined.

The number of deaths here this year, 471, is about 50 percent higher than the same period a year earlier. Nonfatal shootings have risen at a similar rate. More than 2,300 shootings have taken place so far this year, mostly on the South and West Sides and most of them involving African-Americans.

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The surge of violence comes at a trying time. The Justice Department is investigating the practices of the Chicago Police Department amid a crisis over police conduct and discipline and over distrust of officers, especially among African-Americans who make up one-third of the city’s residents. {snip}

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Asked by reporters about the possibility of a state of emergency for the city’s violence, Mr. Rauner called it “terrible” but said he opposed deploying the National Guard:

“If that means bringing in the National Guard, if that’s what–some people have said, ‘Bring in the National Guard’–we’ve discussed that. We’ve analyzed it. We’ve discussed it with the National Guard. We’ve talked about it with national leaders. We’ve talked about it with community leaders. We’ve talked with police officers about it. No thoughtful leader thinks that’s a good idea or would really provide a solution. In fact, it may exacerbate other problems. Nobody thinks that’s a good idea.”

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