On the heels of a summer of fearing that shootings and violence in major cities nationwide would continue their upward trends from earlier in the year, crime statistics in some places remained largely the same, if not decreased, while police officials in others – such as Chicago – continued their pleas for peace amid increasing bloodshed, statistics show.
Experts previously told Fox News that they feared recent shooting and murder upticks would lead to more violent summer months, especially considering the numbers were higher than the previous year even before Memorial Day. An analysis of the crime statistics for some of the major U.S. cities shows the crime statistics were varied – but the overall numbers did not stop police officials from begging the public to stop the bloodshed linked to illegal firearms and gun violence.
In announcing crime statistics in Chicago for the month of August, police officials described “a challenging time across the city,” with 78 murders, or 22% more, for the month compared to August 2020. The city saw a 3% uptick in murders year-to-date compared to the past year.
And while shootings had decreased from 380 in August 2020 to 372 in August 2021, the number of shooting victims was up by three last month compared to the same month last year.
For July, Chicago Police Department saw two fewer murders year over year, but shootings were up. CPD reported 461 shootings with 614 victims in July 2021, compared to the 402 shootings with 561 victims in July 2020.
Police brass were notably incensed by the gun violence following a shooting in mid-August, when a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot as she sat in a parked car next to her younger sister, a 6-year-old who was also critically wounded, police said.
According to CPD Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott, the girls’ mother was helping them into the back seat of the car when the shots were fired.
“To say that I am sad and outraged would be an understatement,” he said. “I can only hope that every resident of this city is as angry, saddened and outraged as I am at this time. Too many young people have lost their lives to senseless gun violence in the city of Chicago.”
Murders appeared to have decreased from May to June in the Georgia city but were up approximately 20% from June to July, or 10 to 12 murders, respectively, city statistics show. Shootings were down in July compared to June.
But violent crime escalated in the city in August. As of Aug. 28, murders for the most recent 28-day period doubled compared to the same preceding time frame, with 24 reported in August compared to 12 reported previously.
Shootings were up 48%, with 48 incidents jumping to 71 in August, statistics show.
Year to date, overall violent crime was up 9%, and murders were up 14%.
The Los Angeles Police Department reported that murders decreased as the summer progressed, with 43 reported in June, 39 in July and 29 in August. Shootings and shooting victims were up in July compared to June, but down in August compared to July.
Year to date, however, murders were up 22.5%, shootings had increased 35.5% and shooting victims jumped by 33.3% by the end of August, statistics show.
Los Angeles County as a whole reported a year-to-date increase in homicides of 62.5%, with Sheriff Alex Villanueva describing how the murder statistic “keeps trending upward.”
There were 195 homicides reported year to date by the end of August, he said. “That is very, very bad,” he added.
Year to date, reports of aggravated assaults with a firearm were up 41%, Villanueva said.
Philadelphia reported approximately 54 homicides in June compared to the roughly 38 in July. There were 32 homicides reported in August. Shootings in July compared to August were down by approximately 17.3%, while the number of shooting victims reported during that time was down 22.5%, statistics showed.
Shooting and homicide statistics for the months before summer varied compared to July and August.
Year to date, however, shootings were up 17.5% as of Aug. 29. And as of Friday, there were 358 murders reported in the city – up 16% compared to the same day in 2020, data show.
Despite upticks in murders in April and May, the summer months of June, July and August have seen fewer homicides year over year. Police have also reported fewer aggravated assaults in each of those three months than in the same time in 2020, according to Minneapolis city statistics.
NEW YORK CITY
Overall index crime in New York City was up 22% by the end of May compared to the same time last year and increased 3.1% in June and 0.2% in July, New York Police Department (NYPD) statistics show. The number of murders in May 2021 was the same as in May 2020, but shootings were up 73%.
But the violent crime tempered in June, with 23.3% fewer murders year-over-year and 19.5% fewer shootings. In July, the NYPD reported 49.1% fewer murders and 35% fewer shooting incidents, the department said. As of Aug. 29, murders for the previous 28 days were down 11.5%, while shooting incidents had decreased by 32.5%.
Seattle Police Department reported a particularly fatal June, with nine murders reported compared to the four recorded in May and April combined. Four murders were reported in July and August, police said.
Police also reported an uptick in aggravated assaults in all three of the summer months, with 307 incidents reported in June, 314 in July and 292 in August. For comparison, there were 259 instances of aggravated assaults reported in May and 247 in April, police statistics show.