Chicago murders surge but solve rate remains low

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Many have heard about Chicago's surge in murders, but numbers from the Chicago Police Department show just how few of them have actually been solved.

As of the third week of June, there have been 307 murders in Chicago in 2016, but only 63 of them have been solved. Police correctly argue that it can take weeks, months, in some cases years to track down a killer, but the numbers show justice comes far more slowly in Chicago compared with the rest of the country.

At a gun control rally Wednesday mothers mourn the loss of children, holding their pictures and holding out hope.

"I haven't lost hope that his case will be solved. We just need more people to speak up," says Johneece Cobb, whose nephew's murder remains unsolved. That killing took place 17 months ago and is one of hundreds of unsolved cases in the city.

Chicago police stats show just 34 percent of murders are solved within a year, meaning there is a 66 percent chance of getting away with murder in the city of Chicago.

"They're not prosecuted, they're not charged. They're not even caught. So it's hardening. It makes it seem like our children have died in vain," Cobb says.

Chicago's 34 percent rate pales in comparison to the national clearance rate of 64 percent.

"It's unacceptable. We know it's unacceptable. We need more people on the streets helping to solve these crimes, and we need more people in the neighborhoods stepping forward to give information," says Kim Foxx, Cook County State's Attorney candidate.

"I've been fighting for three years trying to figure out who killed my son," says Dephine Cherry, who has lost two children to gun violence. She thinks killers count on witnesses being too afraid to talk. When asked if she thinks the killers count on witnesses being too afraid to talk, she said yes.

"Yeah, I think they do. I was told when I was putting up flyers by a young lady who went to school with Tyler, she said, 'You're not going to ever find his killer,'" Cherry says.

Chicago police say their solve rate has held steady in recent years. Investigators say often the difference between making a case or not hinges on community cooperation, which can boil down to trust, which has been in short supply between the Chicago Police Department and Chicago communities.
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