Chicago Homicide Rise Tests Emanuel’s Vow of Safe Streets


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel listed safer streets among his top three priorities when he became mayor a year ago, but Chicago, the nation's third-largest city, is testing that promise, says the New York Times. Homicides are up by 38 percent from a year ago, and shootings have increased as well, as killings have held steady or dropped in many other big cities. As of June 17, 240 people had been killed in Chicago this year, mostly in shootings, 66 more deaths than occurred in the same period in 2011.

There is no evidence of a broader crime wave; measures of crime apart from homicides, including rapes, robberies, burglaries and auto thefts, have improved by about 10 percent since a year ago. “We've got a gang issue, specific to parts of the city, and we have a responsibility to bring a quality of life to those residents, and we are going to do it,” Emanuel told the Times. “My bigger issue is not only the homicides and shootings. It's what it does to all the legitimate citizens in that community and the kids.”

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