- The Washington Times - Friday, December 2, 2016

Chicago hit a gruesome milestone this week by surpassing 700 homicides, a pace not seen in the city since the 1990s.

The city will likely pass the 704 homicides tallied in 1998 before the end of the month, which does not even include ongoing investigations that may eventually hold that classification.

Chicago Police attributed the staggering total — more than New York City and Los Angeles’ combined total of 565 — to gang violence and a “small subsection of citizens.”

“What we need help in is holding these repeat gun offenders accountable for this gun violence, and until we do that, we’re going to continue to see the cycle of violence,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a speech to the Union League Club, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

Some of the grim statistics compiled by the newspaper include:

  • Nearly 4,050 people have been shot as of Nov. 30;
  • 701 citizens have been killed as of Nov. 30;
  • Shootings are on pace for a 50 percent jump over 2015;
  • 92 homicides in August was the most in a single month since July 1993; and
  • Homicides in the Englewood District stand at 82, a 148 percent rise from 33 in 2015.

Superintendent Johnson said police are concentrating on a “strategic subject list” of roughly 1,400 gang members as a way to curb the violence.

Rev. Marshall Hatch, pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in West Garfield Park, told the Tribune that gang killings were a symptom of a deeper disease.

“It’s really a culture of death,” he said. “There’s a lot of fear and a lot of assumption that they’re not going to live long.”

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