Child murder victims in Chicago, Clockwise: Antonio Davis,14 Tyquan Tyler, 13, Heaven Sutton, 7, Jalen Stogner, 17, mourners at Heaven’s funeral.
Finally we have some, if not good, then hopeful news to report about violence in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Police Department, there were only 36 murders in the Windy City last month, down from 44 in October of last year. That is the second lowest record since 1982. The lowest record occurred in October of 2004, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Unfortunately, that number is still not reflective of the whole picture.
Shootings also fell in last month to 208, down from 231 in October 2011, the department said.
Still, through the first 10 months of 2012, homicides have risen by a little over 22 percent over a year earlier, putting Chicago on pace to potentially record 500 homicides for the first time since 2008. Through October, there have been 442 homicides, compared with 361 during the same period last year.
Shootings also have jumped by close to 9 percent to 2,106, up from 1,940 a year earlier.
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As previously reported by NewsOne, Chicago has been compared to war-zones in the Middle East, with more people being murdered there than in Afghanistan. The numbers of violent deaths quadruples New York City’s rate and doubles Los Angeles’ rate.
After receiving criticism for not addressing the carnage happening in his own back yard, President Barack Obama said that though he understands the frustration, it takes more than just his administration, but also community and faith-based leaders, and law enforcement working together to tackle the issue that is literally killing a generation:
“What I know is that gun violence is part of the issue,” he said. “But part of the issue also is kids who feel so little hope and think their prospects for the future are so small that their attitude is, ‘I’m going to end up in jail or dead.’ And they will take all kinds of risks.”
“If they’ve got mental health issues, are they getting the kind of services and counseling that they need early on?” he said.
“Are we making those investments in those young people so that by the time they’re 11, 12, 13, 15 … they can make responsible choices because they feel they’ve got something at stake?”
Hopefully, this downward trend in violence will continue as all eyes stay focused on Chicago.