In a news flash that will catch absolutely no one by surprise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is confirming that Chicago is now the murder capital of the nation.
Tragically, this has been a long time coming for the nation’s third-largest city. Chicago’s violence and homicide rate has skyrocketed the last several summers, but with the horrific and terrifying episode where 13 people were shot on a basketball court, including toddlers, the mammoth city’s violent rate has reached emergency levels.
According to the crime statistics released this week by the U.S. Department of Justice, Chicago had more homicides in 2012 than any other city in the country. There were 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, the FBI said, surpassing New York City, which had 419.
The dubious title of “murder capital” was most recently hung over the neck of the Statue of Liberty in New York, according to statistics compiled by the FBI. Keep in mind, however, that the Big Apple has three times the population spread over five boroughs (or mini cities) as compared to the Windy City. In 2011, there were 515 homicides in the Big Apple, compared to 431 in Chicago.
Almost 70 percent of those slayings in “the Chi” involved a firearm.
Despite those large numbers, residents in Chicago and New York were still less likely to be victims of a homicide than other metropolitan cities.
How can that be? In Flint, Mich., for example, there were 63 killings — a staggering number when you consider Flint’s population is 101,632 — “meaning one in every 1,613 city residents were homicide victims,” according to the FBI crime statistics. In Detroit, where 386 killings occurred in 2012, one in 1,832 were homicide victims.
Check out this list of the cities with the most homicides in 2012.