Over the past year we've frequently written about the alarming homicide rates in Chicago (see "Chicago Violence Worst In 20 Years: 'Not Seen This Level Of Disrespect For Police Ever'"). But, the Wall Street Journal recently conducted an analysis of homicide data since 1985, for the 35 largest cities in the United States, and found that Chicago isn't the only place where violent crime is surging. As it turns out, murder rates are also spiking in Baltimore, Milwaukee and Memphis, all of which have in the past two years approached or exceeded the records set a quarter-century ago, when cities across the country were plagued by gang wars and a booming crack trade.
In fact, according to the WSJ analysis, 27 of the country’s 35 largest cities saw per capita homicide rates rise since 2014.
Murders in Chicago last year rose to their highest rate since 1996, with 27.8 homicides for every 100,000 residents, based on police and the latest census data. Memphis equaled its highest rate last year in a Federal Bureau of Investigation database that goes back to 1985, at 32 murders per 100,000 residents.
The pace has continued in some of these places in the first seven weeks this year, with 47 people killed in Baltimore, putting the city on track for one of the highest annual rates since at least 1970.
In Chicago, there were 330 shootings so far as of Friday, compared with 324 over the same period last year. And in Milwaukee, 17 people have been killed, compared with nine at this point last year.
Meanwhile, on a per capita basis, homicides rates in Baltimore and Memphis actually exceeded Chicago in 2016 with Milwaukee not far behind.
Baffled public policy "experts" have struggled to pin down a specific reason for the recent surge in violent crime attributing the spikes to everything from bad policing to increased drug trafficking to highly publicized police shootings of black men.
The homicide surge doesn’t directly correlate to the size of the police force. Baltimore has more officers per 10,000 residents than New York, for instance. And Milwaukee and Memphis are among the 10 cities that have the most officers per population.
Meanwhile, the four cities with rising crime share elevated rates of poverty and unemployment—but the levels are similar to Philadelphia’s, where the violent crime rate is its lowest in three decades.
“It’s likely that local drug markets are playing an important role,” said Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The other issue, he said, could be “the withdrawal of some local communities [from cooperating with police] and police disengagement.”
The murder surge in Baltimore, Chicago and Milwaukee followed highly publicized police killings of black men.
Of course, one of the last efforts of the Obama Department of Justice was to label the Chicago police department as nothing more than a bunch of racist, hate-mongering bullies who routinely resort to the use of "deadly force" in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution....which must be the reason for the rising crime there.
And while we're on the topic, here are the latest stats on Chicago's violent crime patterns courtesy of HeyJackAss!.
Daily homicide rates have seemingly increased in recent weeks along with warmer temperatures...
...while YTD homicides are tracking almost exactly inline with the violent 2016 levels.
Of course the majority of homicides continue to be concentrated in just a handful of neighborhoods...