It's Official: July Was Chicago's Bloodiest Month in Decades


Chicago, which is known for its weekends of bloody gun and gang violence, experienced its deadliest month in nearly three decades in July.

The Chicago Tribune reported the city recorded 107 homicides last month, a period in which 570 people were shot across the city’s roughly 230 square miles.

The Tribune noted the staggering year-over-year increase in shootings recorded in Chicago: In July 2019, 320 people were shot in the city, 250 fewer than last month.

WLS-TV reported 44 people were killed in the city last July.

A closer look at homicide numbers in the city reveals that to find a month that parallels July requires a trip through history.

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Chicagoans have not experienced such a level of violence in a single month since the city’s NBA franchise, the Chicago Bulls, was in the midst of chasing its first of two championship three-peats.

In September 1992, 109 people were murdered in the Windy City.

July’s violence fell just short of surpassing that violent month with regard to reported homicides.

According to the Tribune, of the killings reported last month, six people were stabbed to death while three died from strangulation.

Two deaths were reported from child abuse, and another two were attributed to general assault, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office told the outlet.

The majority of the homicide victims died from gunshot wounds — in a city that has some of the most strict gun control laws in the nation.

Some of Chicago’s recent victims have been children.

The Tribune reported the youngest victims were 7-year-old Natalia Wallace, who was shot and killed on the Fourth of July, and 9-year-old Janari Andre Ricks, who was killed Friday while playing with other children.

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The uptick in violence in Chicago coincides with a nationwide crime wave amid growing calls to defund police agencies following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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Floyd died May 25 after a police officer was recorded placing a knee over his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Since that event, police officers nationwide have become targets for both violence and political rhetoric.

Just this past weekend, three Chicago police officers were shot while confronting a suspected carjacker.

Police told WLS-TV they are attempting to get a handle on the violent situation in their city.

“As we continue moving more officers into the districts and closer to our communities, we have also been focused on creating teams that can address violent crime head-on within our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” Chicago Police Department official David Brown told the TV station in a statement.

“Our officers will engage directly with residents. We will hear their concerns, and continue to work in partnership with them as part of an all-hands-on-deck effort to curb the violence in our communities,” Brown said.

Prior to this year’s crime wave, Chicago experienced three consecutive years of declining homicides and shootings from 2017 to 2019, CNN reported.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.