While many urban areas throughout the United States saw homicide rates stabilize or even drop to record-lows in 2012, Chicago residents entered 2013 hoping for a solution the horrific bloodshed that has affected the city.
Chicago’s murder rate has soared over the last few years with 506 homicides reported in 2012 alone. Like many urban centers, the killings follow a familiar demographical trend: victims were most likely black males, impoverished, and without a college degree. The violence, much of it gang-related, has also stayed confined within certain neighborhoods. Hyde Park, an affluent neighborhood that is home of the University of Chicago, experienced less than a murder per year, while the rates in poorer adjoining neighborhoods such as Washington Park and Woodlawn was much higher.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York has presided at a time when the city’s murder rate has reached its lowest point in decades. He feels the city has a responsibility to put forth programs that address the issues men of color face.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, whose city has experienced rising violent crime much like Chicago, believe’s the nation’s blighted areas could benefit from a commission that would help address the issues of gang violence.