US crime city marks 500th murder
CHICAGO marked its 500th homicide of the year over the US Labor Day holiday weekend, after 13 people were shot dead in an ongoing spike in violent deaths, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A surge of killings occurred between the early hours of September 5 and 6 in what police believe was a spate of retaliatory violence mainly involving gangs to avenge affronts from earlier in the weekend, the newspaper reported.
A total of 65 people were shot over Labor Day weekend, with nearly half of them in the last of the three days. According to the Tribune, the city’s 2016 homicide count now stands at 512 for 2016.
The Chicago Police Department put the number at 488 as of late September 5, an officer said.
The Tribune said its figure was higher because it includes highway killings and homicides which are considered justifiable.
A retired pastor who was heard arguing with another individual was shot in the face and died near a housing complex for senior citizens, the paper reported.
The uptick in violent deaths has brought Chicago’s murder rate in line with levels not seen since the 1990s, when more than 900 people were killed annually.
The deadly holiday shootings far outpaced Chicago’s other summer three-day weekends: six people died in shootings over Memorial Day in May and five over Independence Day in July this year.
New York, in contrast, experienced its safest summer in more than 20 years according to crime statistics unveiled on September 6 by outgoing police commissioner Bill Bratton. The city has long proclaimed itself the safest big city in the United States.
Overall reported crime was down 5 percent in the three months from June-August compared to the same period in 2015, and down 73pc since 1994 when Compstat records came into effect.
In August, murders were down 2.9pc, rape down 6.7pc and robbery down 15pc compared to the same month in 2015.
For context, New York recorded 1946 murders in 1993 and 352 in 2015.