The United States saw an increase in homicides by roughly 9 percent last year, and more than one-third of that increase came from neighborhoods in Chicago where just one-third of residents live, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.
Chicago and Baltimore have seen violence rise to or near 1990s levels in the last two years, whereas other cities have seen a drop.
In contrast, areas in Los Angeles have experienced a dramatic drop in violence. Areas with 30 percent of the metropolis’ population are responsible for one-quarter of the 13 percent drop in the nation’s murder rate from 2002 to 2014. The nation’s capital has also seen a decrease of murder, which the authors attribute to gentrification and new gang initiation and community policing efforts.
TheWSJ’s analysis shows that murders have been taking place in sections of Chicago or Baltimore where poverty has worsened, as well as areas with less of a police presence than in the past.
A George Mason University criminologist’s research, cited by TheWSJ’s authors, showed “that about 1% of city streets produce 25% of a city’s crime, and 5% of the streets produce half the crime.”
Chicago has seen an explosion in violence, with the city seeing 771 murders, an increase of 57 percent from 2015. The city has had more murders than New York and Los Angeles combined.
President Donald Trump has frequently criticized Chicago for its plague of violence, calling the city a “total disaster” in November 2017.