Major US Cities Alarmed by High Number of Homicides

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Chicago homicide, Chicago Criminal Defense AttorneyMany major US cities have noticed large spikes in the number of homicides this year, and government officials are wondering why. While violent crimes have steadily declined in America, this year's reported number of homicides in major cities like Chicago, New Orleans, and Cleveland have government offices worried, including the Obama administration.

Cities that have little in common, other than being large urban areas, are all experiencing significantly higher numbers of violent crimes than usual, and all within the last few months. While officials have yet to pinpoint a specific reason as to why this increase has occurred, experts have provided a few theories. Are the numbers simply reflective of a more violent than normal year, or do they indicate a larger problem?

The entire country has seen a decline in violent crimes over the past years. In the early 1990’s, drug problems led to incredibly high numbers of homicides in many major US cities, but since then homicide rates have declined steadily. While the numbers of homicides in major urban areas are still nowhere near where they were during the early 90s, there is reason for officials to be alarmed.

Chicago officials noted 385 murders this year, significantly higher than the 323 reported at exactly the same time last year. Washington D.C. recorded 88 homicides in 2012, and have already experienced 128 this year. Similarly, the city of Cleveland reported 87 killings last year, and already counted 101 this year. Why the increase in killings this year?

While there is no sole explanation for the spike, experts have provided several different theories. Some cite easier access to guns and drugs as the source of the problem. Others simply say that the numbers were so low in previous years that a spike was inevitable.

One realistic theory that could be behind the spike is the ever increasing tension between the police and civilians. This year saw a large number of high profile police shootings, and many communities feel they are treated unjustly by police and other authorities. This tension, some experts say, could be leading police officers to be less inclined to intervene in dangerous situations out of fear for their own personal safety.

White House officials, however, have stated that there is no recorded proof of police officers shirking their duties for any reason. Just recently, President Obama came to the defense of police officers around the country, saying they can not be solely blamed for a problem that includes every member of society. “I reject any narrative that seeks to divide police and communities they serve,” said Obama. “That frames public safety around ‘us’ and ‘them.’”

Government officials have yet to respond with any action steps to slow the problem. Many states have pushed for tighter gun sale regulations in hopes of decreasing the number of gun related violence; however, it remains unknown if the federal government will even be able to do anything about the problem.

While the Justice Department has programs in place to help local police departments, it is unclear if any of these programs can help reduce street crime.

With more than 2 months before the end of the year, the spike could continue to grow.

If you need help with any criminal charges, an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney can help. Please call 312-629-0669 today to consult with a representative of the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney.

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