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2020 Comes to a Close as One of Chicago's Bloodiest in Recent Memory

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The number of homicides and shootings in Chicago spiked dramatically in 2020, ending with more bloodshed than every year but one in more than two decades, statistics released by police on Friday revealed.

After three years of falling homicide totals, 2020 ended with 769 homicides — 274 more than the previous year and the most since the 784 in 2016.

The latest shooting figures told the same story, with the year seeing 4,033 shooting victims compared to 2,598 the year before.

And it never let up. In December, there were 50 homicides — 19 more than in December 2019.

None of these numbers come as a surprise.

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Memorial Day weekend was the deadliest in five years. Then, a few days later, May 31 ended with more homicides — 18 — than any single day in memory.

Chicago was not alone. During that weekend in particular, which came after the death of George Floyd, cities across the United States witnessed spasms of violence.

2020 ended in Detroit, Washington, D.C., New York, Milwaukee and other cities with more killings than the year before. The same held true in smaller cities, including Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Rockford, Illinois.

Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, saw hundreds more homicides than either New York or Los Angeles.

Do you think anti-police sentiment fueled the spike in violent crime?

Law enforcement officials have pointed to social and economic upheaval caused by coronavirus measures, anti-police sentiment following Floyd’s death and a historic shortage of jobs in poor communities as contributing factors.

A movement to limit and defund police departments spread across the country after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody in May, and many departments saw their budgets slashed and numbers cut.

According to the Chicago Police Department, 79 officers were shot at in 2020, compared to 22 in 2019.

The number of officers who were struck by bullets doubled from five in 2019 to 10 in 2020.


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