Chicago’s homicide total has exceeded last year’s figure, says the Chicago Sun-Times. As of yesterday, there were 452 murders, up from 449 last year. Police officials were encouraged that the total would likely remain below 500 for the third year in a row — something that has not happened since the early 1960s. Also, violent crime in Chicago continued to decline, bucking a national trend, said Police Superintendent. Phil Cline. As of the end of November, total crime in Chicago was down 2.7 percent from the same period last year, including a 3 percent drop in violent crime and a 2.6 percent drop in property crime.
Criminologist Dennis Rosenbaum of at the University of Illinois at Chicago said one reason for the murder increase could be be a growing population of young men across the country. In Chicago, some spikes in violence could be caused by the high number of former drug dealers who are released from prison to a small number of neighborhoods, where they use violence to reassert themselves, he said. “It’s important to put this in context,” he said. “This is the first year that a number of cities are experiencing increases in violence.”