A popular South Side rapper, killed in a daylight shooting
along the city’s ritziest shopping corridor.
After three consecutive years of declining violence
, Chicago’s murder tally soared in 2020 as city leaders — including a new Chicago police superintendent — were forced to confront widespread civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Dec. 31, the city recorded 774 murders in 2020
, an increase of more than 50% from the 506 murders in 2019, according to a database maintained by us. The uptick was felt across the city, as 20 of the CPD’s 22 police districts recorded more murders in 2020 than the year before. The number of overall shooting incidents skyrocketed, too, rising from 2,120 in 2019 to 3,237 as of Dec. 27, 2020.
The department’s murder clearance rate on the year stands at 45.6%, with detectives closing 350 murder cases in 2020 — the most in a single year since 2005, according to CPD spokesman Don Terry. The department’s clearance rate in 2019 was 53%
CPD Supt. David Brown has, on many occasions, said a “perfect storm” of factors led to the year’s spike in violence, and a multi-pronged approach is needed to tamp down killings.
“Public safety is an all-hands-on-deck effort that requires not only the police, but street outreach workers, faith leaders, the courts, community organizations, and residents all working together,” Brown said in a statement today. “The best way to reduce crime and violence is to prevent it from happening in the first place by building bridges and trust in the community.”
Nearly a quarter of all 2020 murders happened in three West Side districts: Harrison
, Ogden and Austin. Together, they accounted for 220 killings over the year, with the Harrison District alone recording 99 murders through today, according to police statistics. CPD officials say detectives cleared 99 murder cases in those three districts in 2020.
In fact, 2020 will go down as Chicago’s second-deadliest year in the past two decades — behind only 2016, when the city saw 784 murders, according to the CPD.