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Why Are There So Many Murders in Chicago?

post #1 of 139
Thread Starter 
I really liked this piece because it's concise and it doesn't simply focus on any one factor. I can see it starting a great discussion here. The post links to a lot of other articles so check out the main page as well if you're interested.
Quote:
Why Are There So Many Murders in Chicago? | Aaron M. Renn | 02/02/2013


After over 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, the Windy City’s violence epidemic continues – 2013 saw the deadliest January in over a decade – and continues to make national news. The New York Times, for example, ran a recent piece noting how Chicago’s strict gun laws can’t stem the tide of violence.

The NYT piece predictably spurred much debate over gun policy, but that distracts from the real question: why exactly does Chicago have so many murders? Chicago had 512 murders in 2012. New York City – with three times Chicago’s population – had only 418 murders, the lowest since record keeping began in the 1960s. Los Angeles, with over a million more people than Chicago, had only 298 murders. These other cities can’t be accused of lax gun laws or somehow being immune to guns being brought in illegally from more lenient jurisdictions. So what’s different about Chicago?



It’s impossible to say for certain what is causing Chicago’s unique murder problem, but a few possibilities suggest themselves.

1. The number of police officers. Depending on the report, Chicago’s police department is about 1,000 officers short of authorized strength and is facing a large number of looming retirements while few new recruits are brought in due to budget constraints. This clearly has had an impact. However, NYPD has also seen a decline in the number of officers without this effect.

2. Police tactics. New York has made headlines with controversial, but apparently effective, tactics like the so-called “stop and frisk” policy. The city hasn’t hesitated to defend these, even in the face of enormous negative press and lawsuits. Los Angeles has made huge strides in moving past its Detective Mark Furhman era reputation to build bridges to minority communities while Chicago has spent years and millions of dollars ignoring and defending officers who used torture to extract confessions. New York and Los Angeles also have more experience with statistically driven policing than Chicago.

3. Politically controlled policing. Mayor Daley hired Jody Weis from the FBI as police superintendent, but neutered his ability to run the department by assigning a political operative as Weis’ chief of staff. Similarly, Rahm Emanuel, a fan of centralized control, has been heavily involved in driving major decisions like disbanding the anti-gang strike forces. It’s not clear whether police decisions have been driven by purely professional crime fighting concerns or, as in likely given the city’s culture, political considerations.

4. William Bratton. Both New York and Los Angeles saw the start of their major successes against crime under the leadership of William Bratton. Los Angeles in particular was extremely smart to go hire him after his success in New York. While other cities have experienced murder declines, often with similar strategies, they are not places of the same scale, demographic diversity and political complexity of New York and LA. Perhaps Chicago should have spent whatever it took to get Bratton as police superintendent, though whether Bratton would have been willing to come into a place with such a history of political meddling with the police is uncertain.

5. Gang fragmentation. Local and federal officials had great success taking out the leadership of many of the city’s gangs. The result has been significant gang fragmentation and a lack of hierarchical control over the rank and file that some have blamed for contributing to the violence epidemic.

6. Depopulation. Few analyses of Chicago’s murder problem focus on the city’s very poor demographic performance. New York City and Los Angeles are at all time population highs. Other urban areas like Boston and Washington, DC have started rebounding from population losses. However, Chicago lost a stunning 200,000 people in the 2000s and now has a population rolled back to levels not seen since 1910. Loss of population in many neighborhoods has had many pernicious effects, including a loss of social capital (notably middle class families), loss of businesses due to loss of customers, and a diminished tax base. It’s hard to maintain social cohesion in the face of both extreme poverty and population decline. Similarly, the Chicago region had the worst jobs performance of any large metro in the US during the 2000s, which couldn’t have helped.

7. Public housing demolitions. Chicago’s high rise projects like Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes were yesterday’s national shame as hotbeds of crime and the killing of youths. Chicago was one of the most aggressive demolishers of these, with all of the high rises effectively destroyed. While this perhaps reduced localized crime, it destroyed the only homes many people had ever known, and, like depopulation, destroyed significant social capital and possibly simply redistributed and dispersed crime, as some research in other cities has suggested. New York’s public housing is hardly problem free, but NYC took a very different approach, investing in the high-rises rather than destroying them. It’s hard not to speculate on what this has meant to the trajectory of crime in those two cities.

Whatever the actual answer may be, Chicago’s murder epidemic continues to ravage families and neighborhoods. Given the results in January, it would appear the city is no nearer to getting a handle on it than it was a year ago. A reconsideration of the differences between Chicago and other large cities, and a resulting adjustment in strategy, would seem to be long overdue.

Aaron M. Renn is an independent writer on urban affairs and the founder of Telestrian, a data analysis and mapping tool. He writes at The Urbanophile.

Edited by Mo Matik - 2/5/13 at 9:02am
post #2 of 139
Thread Starter 
failed thread bump.
post #3 of 139

Probably because there's a lot thugs in Chicago ?

post #4 of 139
Some good points listed. A cycle because no one gives a **** about truly making things better and when they do try they implement inhumane policies and procedures that only fuel the fire. Truly sad man.
post #5 of 139
Ask da murderers
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post #6 of 139
Good read I suppose.

I didn't see education listed. I haven't done any reading on that particular topic, so this is merely speculation from what I've seen, but it just seems as if a lot of people in inner city Chicago don't place a significant value on human life as they should; their own or others. You hear about these 11 deaths in 10 days and think "why"? Do these people committing these murders not realize there are ramifications for their actions? Not just the fact that they'll likely be sent away for the remainder of their lives, but also that senselessly murdering someone can cause immense grief on their families?

I don't know, I guess I'm rambling. But in my opinion, if more people were given a better education, they would be more likely to have greater ambitions; actually wanting to achieve and accomplish things in life, rather than simply living day to day with the "**** it" mentality.
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post #7 of 139
Idk man mean.gif


Still love my city tho
post #8 of 139
Chicago better shape up or they're gonna be da next Detroit.

Once depopulation takes grasp its hard to reverse.

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post #9 of 139
i believe it is due to a fundamental problem with the way american children are raised. not white or black or latino children, but the entire country.
post #10 of 139
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GottaBeEm21 View Post

i believe it is due to a fundamental problem with the way american children are raised. not white or black or latino children, but the entire country.

That may be true, but there is a disproportionate amount of murders in Chicago compared to other major US cities with bigger populations. So there must be factors influencing urban Chicago on a relatively local level.
post #11 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by VICTOR PAGE View Post

Gentrification uprooted gang territory leaving turf wars at an all time high + elder gang members being shipped off to jail left the current gangs broken and unorganized. There are factions within factions now. They can have two different factions of the same gang shooting each other. The youngins don't go by the same code gang members went by decades ago. 

post #12 of 139
Going to read later..

*reading list*
post #13 of 139
How is just the general city area? I was going to travel there soon and just wanted to cover my bases in not getting into something I don't want to.
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- Fong$tarr

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post #14 of 139
They should just quarantine the city and start a hunger games.
post #15 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by VICTOR PAGE View Post

 

but Chicago murders were much higher in the 80/90's 

post #16 of 139
its the mindset over there man.
post #17 of 139
When they tore down the projects the gang members from those buildings got relocated to other gangs neighborhoods. The city knew they weren't gonna move in hold hands and sing kumbaya. DC was having this problem a few years back with gentrification, city folks relocated to pg country and the crime rate shot up.
post #18 of 139
I don't wanna get caught in traffic
post #19 of 139
^

**** bangs. smokin.gif
post #20 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Fongstarr View Post

How is just the general city area? I was going to travel there soon and just wanted to cover my bases in not getting into something I don't want to.

you're good in most parts of the city, its pretty easy to tell when you are going toward the wrong area. US cellular and IIT are where it starts to get rough as you keep going south.
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post #21 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyIceRocking View Post

but Chicago murders were much higher in the 80/90's 

 

Duh...that's when crack hit.

 

Crime was higher everywhere in that era.

post #22 of 139
Sosa
post #23 of 139
Oakland
post #24 of 139
Lack of respect, love and humility.
post #25 of 139

We all know why....we all know the solution...the real problem is that certain Americans in power don't really care. 

post #26 of 139
Growth and Development
post #27 of 139
Damn such a sin the crime problems never go away just relocated to other parts
post #28 of 139
Its ridiculous. New York has large housing projects. LA has a huge gang population. Both cities have larger populations, yet nowhere near the murder rate. I think the combination of gentrification and lack of police is the real culprit
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post #29 of 139
How do the murder rates in the favelas in Rio compare to the murder rate in Chicago?
post #30 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZwildcats View Post

Its ridiculous. New York has large housing projects. LA has a huge gang population. Both cities have larger populations, yet nowhere near the murder rate. I think the combination of gentrification and lack of police is the real culprit
It's not a lack of police, dudes are shooting at police like the next man on the street. I don't blame cops for not riding down a block that they too might get shot on.
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