While several of America’s largest cities saw a rise in homicides last year, none had a deadlier year than Chicago. The Windy City, with some of the strictest gun-control laws on the books, averaged more than 14 murders a week and totaled 762 homicides. That figure surpassed the number of murders in New York City and Los Angeles combined, and represented the largest spike in 60 years.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson made it clear that criminals have little to fear. “In Chicago, we just don’t have a deterrent to pick up a gun,” he said. “Any time a guy stealing a loaf of bread spends more time pre-trial in jail than a gun offender, something is wrong.”
The nation’s third-largest city also recorded 1,100 more shooting incidents than in 2015. Police have stated that the majority of the homicides and shootings occur in five neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides—areas that are predominantly poor and rife with gang activity.