There is absolutely no question that violence, particularly gun violence, is a major problem in Chicago. There have been over 3,000 people shot in Chicago this year alone and 473 of those victims have died. These numbers are higher than last year and in fact some of the highest since the 1990’s. No doubt this is a massive issue that is shaking the city and the country.
But there is another problem that keeps being swept under the rug and ignored, and that is the number of police shootings occurring not just in Chicago but across the nation. While there have been 92 deaths due to a police shooting in Chicago over the past six years, those numbers are eerily similar all over the United States.
The Chicago Tribune recently gained access to data about police shootings in Chicago after a long battle to obtain the information. Their analysis brought up some startling, and disturbing, patterns. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Most often the police officer involved in the shooting wasn’t a rookie officer. The average number of years served was nine.
- From 2010 to 2015, there were 435 police shootings and in those shootings, 2,623 bullets were fired.
- While about half of the officers involved in these shootings were African-American or Hispanic, about four out of five victims were also African-American or Hispanic.
These are just a few of the highlights from the Tribune’s analysis, yet they make a strong case for the change that is desperately needed. Police officers in Chicago, and across the country, need to take on huge reforms in order to solve this problem. It won’t happen overnight and it will take serious effort from both police officers and the community to make significant changes and end the violence on our streets.
Reporting these incidents will help make a difference. If you have been a victim of police brutality or misconduct, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.