Barack Obama has announced his plans to give a farewell speech in Chicago on January 10th. But while they wait for him to get around to bragging about his legacy some more, people in Chicago are dying. In 2016, there were an astounding 762 homicides… more than Los Angeles and New York combined.
The homicide rate in Chicago is the highest it has been in two decades. But it wasn’t just homicides that skyrocketed: shootings increased by over 1,100 incidents since 2015. The statistics, released by the Chicago Police Department, paint a grim portrait of Obama’s adopted hometown. Only 485 homicides were reported in 2015, making the jump in homicides from 2015 to 2016 the largest in 60 years.
“In Chicago, we just don’t have a deterrent to pick up a gun,” he said. “Any time a guy stealing a loaf of bread spends more time pre-trial in jail than a gun offender, something is wrong.”
Most of the shooting incidents, including homicides, occurred in five Chicago neighborhoods. All of them are on the south and west sides of Chicago, and are mostly poor, black areas with heavy gang activity. Many of the shootings are believed to be related to gang activity or past arrests.
The city has been struggling to curb the violence problem in Chicago. Rahm Emanuel added 1,000 officers to the police department, while the department itself focused on trying to determine what caused the spike in violence. They believe there are several factors.
The police shooting death of Laquan McDonald, a black man shot 16 times and killed by a white police officer, sparked protests throughout the city and cost Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy his job. Johnson then had to restore trust in the police department. Unfortunately, the police department has had to be more cautious, not wanting to become the next “viral video”, which he believes is part of what has emboldened criminals. “Criminals watch TV, pay attention to the media,” he said. “They see an opportunity to commit nefarious activity.”
Yet Obama doesn’t acknowledge this, and neither does Black Lives Matter. They’re too busy attacking police to worry about the violence plaguing the black community. There are no political brownie points won by pointing out the reality of black-on-black violence.