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Chicago's August 2012 Murder Total Surpasses 2011 Numbers

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 21, 2012 6:20PM

Photo Credit: Jeff Belcher
Here’s a badge of shame: Chicago’s murder total for the month has already surpassed August 2011’s total and with 10 days left.

Thirty-eight people have been killed through Aug. 19, compared to 35 for all of August 2011 and 22 homicides through Aug. 19, 2011. Last Saturday there were six homicides in Chicago, which tied Feb. 19 for the day with the most murders this year. The numbers come on the heels on a July that Police Supt. Garry McCarthy touted as the least violent month in Chicago in a quarter century and credited to a new gang auditing strategy he implemented last year.

The Chicago Tribune noted that most of the homicides this month have occurred in neighborhoods where, coincidentally, McCarthy first implemented his gang audits. Five homicides each have been recorded in the Englewood police district on the city’s South side and Harrison district on the West side. While the murder rate in Chicago is up 31 percent over last year thanks largely to a 60 percent in homicides during the first three months of 2012. murders in the Englewood and Harrison districts to date are down overall in part to McCarthy’s strategies.

Gun violence in Chicago is also up 8 percent over 2011. McCarthy has blamed the violence on the splintering of street gangs. Last week he announced that known gang members would no longer be released on “I-Bonds,” which normally allow arrestees to be freed on their own recognizance. The group CeaseFire also started partnering with the Police Department in two of the more violent districts in the city, after months of delays,