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51 People Murdered in Chicago In January, Huge Spike From Last Year

CHICAGO — Fifty-one people were murdered in Chicago in January 2016, up from 29 murders in Chicago in January 2015, according to numbers released Monday by the Chicago Police Department. Shootings and shooting victim totals have also more than doubled compared to the same period last year.

In total, CPD reports there were 292 shooting victims in Chicago last month injured or killed in 242 total shootings. In January 2015, CPD reported 119 shootings and 136 shooting victims.

"Both figures represent unacceptable increases from 2015 and were driven primarily by gang conflicts and retaliatory violence," Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Gugliemi said in a statement issued Monday morning.

The police department announced a series of new enforcement measures Monday to address the spike in violence, including moving more than 350 police officers and 31 sergeants from foot patrol into vehicles, conducting targeted raids "in areas that we know are problematic" and increasing home visits in partnership with the Cook County Sheriff's Department to intervene in ongoing gang conflicts and act on outstanding warrants.

Additional tactics will include the temporary closure of businesses "that pose a public safety threat," according to Monday's news release.

"While we have much more work to do, the entire Chicago Police Department is determined to keep every Chicagoan safe," Gugliemi said in his statement. "We will continue to work tirelessly on ways to stop violence, and restore accountability and trust in communities throughout the city."

Gugliemi cited 14 solved murder cases this month as signs of progress in January's investigations, eight of which were cases from January 2016 and six from previous years.

In Monday's news release, CPD characterized much of January's violence as stemming from "petty disagreements that escalated into gun violence that tore apart families."

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union rejected the notion that the spike in violence is linked to policing changes negotiated by the civil liberties group.

he ACLU helped negotiate a change in the way officers report investigative street stops. Since then, those stops have dropped dramatically.

The Sun-Times quoted unnamed officers saying they are suffering from an "ACLU Effect," leading to less policing and more crime.

Karen Sheley, the ACLU of Illinois' Director of Police Practices Project, issued a statement Monday morning dismissing that idea.

"We reject any suggestion of a so-called 'ACLU effect' to explain the recent spike in gun violence on Chicago's streets," Sheley said.

"There is no any discernible link between the rate of invasive street stops and searches by police and the level of violence. Indeed, when such stops dramatically decreased in other cities, like New York City, we saw no such rise in crime. There simply is not any evidence of this so-called 'effect.' Rather, there are many complicated, interrelated things going on currently with crime and policing in the City of Chicago, issues playing out in the news and on the streets each day. ”

DNAinfo's Mark Konkol last month reported that the investigative stops had dropped by 80 percent since the rules, including a far longer report that has to be filled out, went into effect. 

 

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