Chicago Murder Capital of the Country With 500 Homicides in 2012

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 03:37 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Chicago is the murder capital of the United States.

According to FBI statistics released earlier this week, Chicago had 500 murders in 2012, surpassing New York City's homicide rate, which was 419 murders last year. NYC's population size is triple Chicago's. 

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One year earlier, the murder rates were nearly reverse. NYC had 515 murders in 2011 and Chicago had 431.

The news comes one day after 13 people were shot in Chicago during an apparent gang-related shooting, including a 3-year-old boy. All the shooting victims, including the young child, are expected to recover, CNN reported.

The homicide surge, which police attributed to warring gangs, is primarily within the city's African-American community. Eighty percent of victims of gun violence in Chicago are black, Reuters reported.

With some of the toughest gun laws in the country, Chicago's gun violence prompted an alderman from the city's South Side to propose putting GPS devices on all guns within city limits earlier in the year. The proposal was not approved.

Despite the high 2012 murder rates in Chicago and New York City, the U.S. city found to be the most dangerous by the FBI on a per-capita basis was Flint, Mich. One out of every 1,613 Flint residents was murdered in 2012, according to the bureau, which amounted to 63 murders in 2012.

In total, 15 U.S. cities reported more than 100 murders in 2012, including Detroit (386 murders), Philadelphia (331), Los Angeles (299), Baltimore (219), Houston (217), New Orleans (193), Dallas (154), Memphis (133), Oakland (126), Phoenix (124), St. Louis (113), Kansas City (105) and Indianapolis (101), Fox News reported.

There were an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes in the U.S. in 2012, which include forcible rape, aggravated assault, and non-negligent manslaughter among other crimes.

Outside of traffic violations, the FBI estimates that law agencies across the country made approximately 12.2 million arrests in 2012.

In total, violent crime rose by 0.7 percent across the U.S. last year, according to the bureau.

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Related stories:

Chicago Gun Violence Surges Over July 4th – 12 Dead, 60 Wounded

Chicago Murder Rate Rises Despite Gun Ban

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