Chicago reports 700 murders so far in 2020, Cook County on track to break homicide record

CHICAGO (WLS) -- New crime data released showed that Cook County is on track to break another homicide record.

More than 700 homicides were reported in 2020, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. The office has handled double the number of cases they had in 2019.

The Chicago Police Department said some crimes have decreased in 2020, but rates of violent crime including murder were very high.

CPD stats show there have been more than 700 murders in 2020 and nearly 4,000 shootings.

For West Sider Pedro Wade, claims that his West Garfield Park neighborhood is one of the most dangerous and violent in the city is no surprise to him.

"It's very dangerous," he said. "Any conflict at any moment, a small altercation can end with someone losing their life."

The 26-year-old's teenaged brother Clarence was gunned down as he walked home from school. No one has ever been arrested for the 2016 slaying.

The data shows Chicago is on track to break another homicide record - with most victims being young black men.

"There are real people behind these numbers and real communities who are struggling, families who are fragile," said Rev. Marshall Hatch, Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church.

Rev. Hatch's church is located in the neighborhood where Chicago police announced their recovery of more than 10,000 guns so far this year, mostly from West Side streets and CPD's Englewood District on the South Side. Still, homicides are up some 150% over last year.

"With the humbling comparison that we have more murders in this community than the city of Minneapolis after George Floyd, it means we're in a state of crisis," Rev. Hatch said.

It's a condition only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are efforts to make things better with the ministry's MAAFA Redemption Project.

"We see ourselves as developers of leaders and that's how we see the young men we don't see them as documented gang members," said Marshall Hatch Jr., MAAFA Redemption project. "We don't see them as super predators. These are our brothers."

Young men like Ferrice Spiceson and Deron Davis have both lived the street life. With the program, they are looking to be the change the neighborhood needs to see.

"Being a person who did time coming from the streets, you want better for yourself, because you get tired of it," Davis said. "I chose this way."

CPD reports spike in violence against CPD officers

The Chicago Police Department also reported a nearly 300% spike in violence against CPD officers.

"This has even a difficult year for law enforcement throughout the country as COVID-19 and civil unrest have converged to create charged environments in major U.S. cities," said Superintendent David Brown in a statement. "Chicago is no exception. And yet, our officers continue to work hard every day to make our home a safer place. I want to commend our brave officers for putting their lives on the line and working to improve public safety."

This year, officers have been shot at 71 times, and 10 cops were shot.

This year's crime rate was a big jump from last year and also higher than the murder rate in 2016, which was Chicago's most violent year in recent memory.
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