2021 was deadliest year for US city of Chicago in a quarter century
Chicago ended 2021 with more homicides than any other American city, including New York and Los Angeles, according to statistics released by the city’s police department on Saturday.
The rise in the number of shootings in Chicago, America’s third most populous city, left more people dead than in any single year in a quarter century.
According to the department, 2021 ended with 797 homicides. That is 25 more than were recorded 2020, 299 more than in 2019 and the most since 1996.
And there were 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, which is just over 300 more than were recorded in 2020 and a staggering 1,415 more shooting incidents than were recorded in the city in 2019.
Other US cities have also seen an increase in the number of homicides. But Chicago, as it has in previous years, ended 2021 with more homicides than any other city.
New York and Los Angeles, the most and second-most populous US cities respectively, recorded at least 300 fewer homicides than Chicago for the year as of late December, according to police data from those cities.
“We all know this has been a challenging year here in the city of Chicago,” Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at a news conference earlier this week. “Too many families are reeling from the loss of (loved) ones due to senseless gun violence.”
Brown said the majority of the homicides are the result of conflicts between rival gangs.
The department, which says it takes more illegal weapons off the street than any other local police force in the United States, said that it took a record 12,088 guns off the street in 2021. That total coincided with the creation of a Gun Investigations Team that has focused on interrupting the flow of illegal guns into the city.
Brown has come under scrutiny by some members of the City Council and others as the death toll mounted.
He said the department hopes to recruit more new officers this year, and said, “There will be more officers on the street, not just in patrol cars or behind desks, to interact with all Chicagoans.”