Chicago shootings and homicides down overall while crime near lakefront rises, top cop says

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday announced a 44% decrease in homicides and a 26% decrease in shootings across the city year-over-year.

Homicides are also down in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods on the west and south sides of the city while its northern, lakefront neighborhoods have seen an increase.

"I don't think it's fair to all communities when you only write… about what happens downtown… so I think it's important to just add that context. Gun violence everywhere is unacceptable," Brown said when asked about the north side-specific increase in crime during a news conference.

"All neighborhoods are important," he continued.

Brown explained that the police department uses data to determine to which areas officers are deployed during their shifts.


Area 3, which covers River North, River South, Near North and South Loop neighborhoods downtown, has seen year-over-year increases in all major crime categories, including homicide, aggravated assault, criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft for the week ending July 10. Homicides, specifically, have increased 16% year-over-year, 24% since 2020, 80% since 2019 and 112% since 2018.

There were several downtown shootings over the weekend, including one drive-by shooting on North State Street after 1 a.m. that left four victims injured.

Brown said that gun violence occurs downtown "around clubs and bars," noting that club and bar owners need to collaborate with police.

Chicago police have recovered 6,665 guns so far this year — a 4% increase compared to last year, Brown said Tuesday.

"Guns should not be available to individuals who shouldn’t have them," he said. "Chicago’s communities cannot and will not be held captive by senseless gun violence."

Brown met with President Biden and other White House leaders on Monday to discuss the Safer Communities Act, a bill aiming to reduce gun violence that the Senate passed Thursday in the wake of several recent mass shootings.

The bill would provide funding for states to create programs that could keep weapons away from people who are a danger to themselves or others, often called red flag laws. It would also enhance background checks for gun buyers under 21, add penalties for some gun criminals and provide funding for a variety of health and mental health-related programs.

It also addresses closing the so-called "boyfriend loophole," which is a gap in federal law that means spousal domestic abusers can have gun rights taken away but not unmarried ones.

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