News and Commentary

Chicago Records Largest Number Of January Homicides In Four Years
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JULY 21: Police secure the scene of a shooting in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on July 21, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. At least 14 people were transported to area hospitals after several gunmen opened fire on mourners standing outside of a funeral home. More than 2000 people have been shot and more than 400 have been murdered in Chicago so far this year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Changing weather has done little to stem the spike in murders in Chicago; despite near-freezing temperatures and at least one significant snowfall, the city clocked 54 homicides in January of 2021, the most in four years.

NBC Chicago reports that the Chicago Police Department announced Monday that there had been 51 homicides. The Chicago Sun-Times, which keeps unofficial homicide records, and includes homicides on the city’s freeways and “killings committed in self defense,” added three additional murders to the tally.

The number is a significant uptick from 2020.

“The latest tally is a sharp increase from the 35 slayings recorded in the same month last year,” NBC Chicago noted. “This January was the deadliest in Chicago since 2017, when 51 murders were recorded across the city, according to police statistics.”

In 2016 and early 2017, Chicago was in the midst of what appeared to be a heated gang war, and its homicide numbers — particularly its gun-related homicide numbers — were far outpacing those in other cities.

At the time,  2016 was the deadliest year in Chicago in two decades, and 2021 appears to be on pace to match that benchmark.

The increase in homicides, as The Daily Wire has previously noted, is just one aspect of a larger trend. Crime is up in Chicago around 2%, across the board.

“January also saw an increase in shooting incidents compared to the same month last year, police said. Chicago recorded 201 shootings through the end of the month, while January 2020 saw 137 shootings,” NBC Chicago noted. “Over 240 people were shot in Chicago in January, while 158 shooting victims were reported during the same month last year, police said.”

Carjackings are also up significantly, with nearly 200 in January alone, and carjackings are also on pace to set a record, albeit one set two decades ago, according to Chicago police.

“The Chicago Police Department has released new statistics showing crimes such as robbery and burglary went down last year, however, carjackings could be on pace to surpass a recent 19-year record,” a separate NBC Chicago report said.

“More than 1,400 carjackings were reported across Chicago in all of 2020, which is more than double 2019’s number and the highest since 2001. The city is on pace to see 1,800 carjackings this year, according to police,” the outlet added.

CPD recently announced that it would be adding dozens of officers to a carjacking task force in an effort to curb the problem.

This time, unlike in 2016, Chicago is not alone in experiencing an uptick in violence. In 2020, major cities across the United States suffered major crime waves, and that trend is not dying out in the first weeks of 2021.

New York City is also on pace to break homicide records, according to the Daily Mail, citing New York Police Department statistics.

“Murders in New York rocketed by 125 per cent in the first 10 days of 2021 with a 20-year-old man shot dead just one hour after the ball dropped in Times Square,” the Daily Mail reported. “Nine people died between January 1 and 10 this year, compared to four in the same period last new, new figures have shown.”

Los Angeles, California, is also suffering through a homicide spike, according to local media.

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