Chicago murder rate up after Easter weekend spate

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After an Easter weekend in which nearly a dozen people were killed, Chicago’s homicide rate is topping last year’s. Meanwhile, the U.S. city with the most murders last year, Los Angeles, is seeing a sharp decline. New York has seen a nearly 10 percent increase in homicides this year, but Chicago continues to have a per capita murder rate much higher than the two larger cities, the Chicago Tribune reports. Through Monday morning, 157 people have been slain in Chicago this year. Los Angeles had 148 homicides through Saturday. New York’s most recent report showed 151 through April 13. Los Angeles has about 800,000 more people than Chicago, and New York’s population exceeds Chicago’s by more than 5 million. In 2002 Los Angeles had 658 murders to Chicago’s 646 and New York’s 584.

Most of the recent Chicago homicides are concentrated on the South and West Sides of the city. The Harrison District in the West Side has the most of any district with 20, about the same as this time last year. “We’ve had a miserable week,” said Police Sgt. Robert Elmore. “It’s a lot of drug activity and gang activity. But there’s nothing exactly that we can point to. There’s no gang war or anything going on.”


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