Chicago records highest January murder rate in four years

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Chicago records highest January murder rate in four years

Chicago had the deadliest January in four years, according to statistics released by the Chicago Police Department Thursday. The city recorded 51 m

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Chicago had the deadliest January in four years, according to statistics released by the Chicago Police Department Thursday. 

The city recorded 51 murders last month, which is the highest since 2017 when 52 murders were recorded. It’s a sharp increase over the 35 murders recorded in the same time period last year. 

The increased murder rate coincided with an increase in shootings, as Chicago saw 201 shooting incidents in January, compared to 137 in January 2020. 

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Most other forms of crime were down last month, except for motor vehicle theft, which was up to 851 in January, compared to 671 in the same time period last year. 

Carjackings more than doubled last year compared to 2019, increasing 135%. 

Superintendent David O. Brown announced last month that Chicago police is expanding its task force to combat carjackings, which was originally established last February. 

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“The spikes in vehicular carjacks are a regional and national issue that both urban and suburban cities are experiencing across the country,” Brown said at a news conference Jan. 21. “Motives include joyriding and to facilitate anonymity while committing other crimes, to include robberies and shootings.”

Brown said one of the most troubling aspects of the rise in carjackings is the number of juvenile offenders. The youngest person to be caught trying to hijack a car was just 13-years-old, while the majority of offenders are between 15 and 20. 

Brown noted that this is not just a policing issue and urged “teachers, mentors, coaches, parents, the faith community, and others” to also step up to help troubled youth. 

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One anti-violence non-profit called Acclivius just announced $1.2 million in grants that will go to local groups fighting crime in the Chicago community. 

“What we need to do to prevent violence in a community is look at one house at a time, one person at a time… and one block at a time,” LeVon Stone Sr., CEO of Acclivus, said Thursday. “We’re not looking at this from binoculars, we’re looking at this from a magnifying glass. We’re up close and it affects us as well as it affects the city.”

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