Apr 17, 2024 - News

Mayor Brandon Johnson's big test on violence in Chicago

Data: AH Datalytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Mayor Brandon Johnson is springing to action as the city mourns the 9-year-old girl killed and several wounded in a mass shooting in Back of the Yards last weekend.

The big picture: Johnson's swift response is part of the community safety plan that the mayor put out in December, adopting "people-based and place-based efforts" to reduce the root causes of crime.

  • "There is a shattered sense of safety in Chicago that has been driven by decades of purposeful disinvestment in our communities," Johnson said when the plan was announced.

Driving the news: Johnson and the Chicago Police Department on Monday opened an emergency center for victims of violent crimes in the neighborhood, led a canvassing event and increased police presence at a school near the shooting.

By the numbers: As of Saturday, homicides are down 6% from the same period in 2023 — mirroring a national trend in major U.S. cities.

  • But overall violent crime is up about 2% compared with this time last year, according to the city's crime dashboard. That includes robberies, which were alarmingly high in 2023 and are ticking up this year.

Zoom out: The number of homicides in major American cities is falling at its quickest pace in decades following huge jumps during the pandemic.

  • The nation is on pace to see one of the most significant declines in violent crimes and homicides since President Obama was in office, according to an Axios analysis of AH Datalytics data.

Catch up quick: Late last week, Johnson and CPD superintendent Larry Snelling outlined a four-pillar plan to address the robbery sprees and car thefts.

  • "We want to be proactive and not just reactive when these crimes occur," Snelling said at the press conference.

What we're watching: The mayor's new plans will be put to the test in the next three months. As the weather warms up, historically so does violence.


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