Shootings, murders in Chicago rose 50% in 2020

Shootings, murders in Chicago rose 50% in 2020

The building of Chicago Police Department near Chinatown of Chicago, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ping/IANS)

Chicago, Jan 4 (IANS) Shootings and murders in the US city of Chicago increased by more than 50 per cent in 2020, official figures revealed. City officials attributed the rise in violence in 2020 to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic and the civil unrest that took place in the middle of the year against racism and police brutality, Xinhua news agency reported. According to the final crime number released by the city police, there were 769 murders in 2020, up from 495 in 2019; and 3,261 shootings in 2020, up from 2,140 in 2019. The number of shooting victims climbed from 2,598 in 2019 to 4,033 in 2020. Cook County, where Chicago is located, reported more gun-related homicides in 2020 than any other year, surpassing the previous record set in 1994. The county witnessed 875 gun-related homicides in 2020, exceeding the 838 recorded in 1994, according to a statement from the medical examiner's office. The medical examiner's office handled 970 homicides in total in 2020, the most since 1996. The figure represents a 40 per cent increase over 2019's homicide total of 675. Most of the homicides took place in the city of Chicago, and the African-American community was disproportionately impacted, accounting for 78 per cent of the victims, the figures further revealed.

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