CHICAGO (CBS) – The New York Times wrote Friday a headline about murder rates in larger cities, to one’s surprise Chicago was nowhere near the top.
Murder rates rose significantly in 25 of the nation’s biggest cities last year, CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports.
The National Institute of Justice called the spike, “nearly unprecedented,” but according to a New York Times survey, Chicago did not lead the way.
Cities with a significant rise in murder rates include, Baltimore, up 20 percent; St. Louis, up 18 percent; Las Vegas, up 14 percent; Cleveland, up 10 percent. Chicago tied for 20th place with a 2 percent increase.
Chicago Police have said for years that the urban murder spike is not Chicago’s problem alone.
“We see that here, in Chicago, but we know that it is not just Chicago,” said Fred Walker, CPD Chief of Patrol. “It is a problem that other major cities also have.”
Chicago, though, did lead the big cities with the most murders in the country with 488. That number being much high than New York, which has three times as many people.
All seven cities where murder rose the most feature higher than normal poverty.
These cities poverty percentages rank as, Cleveland with 36 percent, Milwaukee with 29 percent, Baltimore with 24 percent, and Chicago and Houston tied with 23 percent. The national poverty average is 16 percent.
Urban police know low income produces high crime.
“They see their parents are struggling, but they look at the wrong way of seeing drug opportunity or sticking up and robbing people,” said Andrew Holmes, Victims Advocate. “Just to live another day, feed themselves another day.”
For years, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s cited Illinois lax laws on criminal gun use as a major factor in the homicide increase. Mayor Emanuel received support Friday in that view from New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
“That’s a core issue,” said Bratton. “The amount of guns and the failure of laws in government to address that particular issue.”
The New York Times study is based on crime stats from 2015. This year Chicago’s problem is only growing worse, with murders up 45 percent.