Murders in U.S. cities across the country have jumped, in many cases sharply, following months of protracted COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns as well as sustained domestic unrest fueled by Black Lives Matter- and antifa-led activism.
The homicide rate in Chicago has reached a 5-year high so far in 2020, with total murders through almost 10 months already more than 50% higher than last year’s full-year total. That spike broke a four-year downward trend occurring within a larger two-decade-long decline of killings in the Midwestern metropolis.
Police data show that murders in the city year-to-date as of Sunday were 633, a 53% spike from the 415 murders recorded at the same time last year. Those numbers come in after several years of declining murder rates. An extensive dataset compiled by the Chicago Tribune earlier this year show that murders in the city were declining steadily from the year 2017 onward, reaching a low of 492 last year.