Violent crime long has afflicted minorities in Chicago at a much higher rate than the rest of the population, and the spike in homicides in the first half of this year provides an especially stark measure: 201 of the 259 homicide victims were African-American, the Chicago Tribune report. While blacks make up about 33 percent of the city’s population, they accounted for nearly 78 percent of the homicide victims through the first six months of 2012.
Just 11 homicide victims in the first six months of the year were white, and 44 were Hispanic. In Chicago, most violent crime happens in impoverished, mostly black neighborhoods on the South and West sides. Annual Chicago police statistics show a majority of both homicide victims and offenders are young black men with criminal records. With one exception, African-Americans have made up more than 70 percent of homicide victims in Chicago every year for the last two decades. In 2012’s first half, 143 homicide victims were at least affiliated with a street gang. Males ages 15 to 35 made up nearly three-quarters of African-American homicide victims. Police data showed that 133 of those 145 victims had arrest histories.