Chicago Gun Violence Skyrockets as Police Stops Sharply Decrease

Gun Violence in Chicago SkyrocketsNews of gun violence has rocked the nation in recent months, including many incidents involving police officers, both as shooters and as victims. The city of Chicago has been no exception to this trend. In fact, gun violence recently has reached previously unparalleled levels in Chicago, right along with markedly less aggressive law enforcement efforts by police officers. While some disagree, recent news articles have drawn a direct link between a reduction in police stops on the street and the excessive volume of gun violence.

Police Stop Statistics

According to an ABC7 I-Team Investigation, police officer street stops in the City of Chicago dropped roughly 80 percent in the first two months of 2016. Many attribute this sharp decrease in law enforcement street stops as the response to a state law that took effect on January 1, 2016. Now, instead of filling out a small “contact card” with basic information about a street stop as they have for decades, police officers who make a street stop must fill out a two-page “Investigatory Stop Report.” This lengthy report is designed to ensure that police officers are strictly following the new law as it pertains to stopping people on the street and patting them down in public.

In a later article, statistics show that between January 1, 2016, and late March 2016, police stops in Chicago decreased 90 percent. More specifically, there were 20,908 recorded stops this year, as opposed to 157,346 recorded stops during the same time period in 2015. According to the Chicago Police Department, police officers also seized fewer guns during that time period this year (1,316) over the same time period last year (1,413). Significant Increase in Chicago Shootings

The huge decrease in Chicago police stops is occurring at the same as a monstrous increase in shootings in the city. As of March 31, 2016, there were 650 shootings, resulting in 123 deaths and 652 wounded. A more recent article states that as of July 4th weekend, 2016, Chicago has seen at least 2,021 shootings, and seems poised to quickly surpass last year’s shootings, which numbered 2,900.

The Reasons Behind the Numbers

Some sources argue that officer morale is at an all-time low, primarily due to the high-profile string of officer-involved shootings of African-Americans that has dominated the news in all states, including Illinois. Particularly after the Laquan McDonald shooting, which left a 17-year-old dead from 16 gunshots and a Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder, officers reportedly are not aggressively or proactively policing on the street, ostensibly in order to avoid ending up in a much-publicized shooting that would place their actions under close scrutiny. Pressure in the form of litigation with ACLU also has had an effect on Chicago policing techniques and the passage of the new restrictions governing police stops. A previous ACLU investigation had found that from May to August of 2014, police stopped 250,000 people in Chicago who had committed no crime and were completely innocent. Even worse, African-Americans made up 72 percent of all Chicago police stops, despite the fact that African-Americans comprise only 32 percent of the city’s population.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

When you are subject to any type of criminal charges, whether they resulted from an illegal or suspect police stop or not, you have certain rights under state and federal law that the police and other law enforcement officials must respect. Our goal is to protect your constitutional rights and build a strong defense case on your behalf, regardless of the types of criminal charges you may be facing. If you are in this situation, please contact the law office of Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC right away so that you can benefit from the assistance of a passionate Naperville criminal defense attorney and reach the most positive outcome possible in your case.