According to Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy, the homicide rate in the city isn't as bad as it seems. This claim comes the same week as news that the city topped 40 homicides for the month of January, giving Chicago its most violent January since 2002 and putting the city on pace to equal last year's 506 murders. It also comes the same week that a 15-year-old honor student who had just participated in the inaugural festivities was gunned down just blocks from her school.
Speaking with the Chicago Sun-Times, McCarthy tried to focus on the positives surrounding Chicago's murder rate, as if they exist:
“That’s just not the way those numbers usually play out,” Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Tuesday, adding that as of Friday afternoon the murder rate had been down nearly 30 percent for the month when compared to last year. He said there had been 13 fewer shootings last week compared to the same week in 2012.
But the number of murders for the week compared to last year remained about the same. “Unfortunately that’s the way it goes sometimes ... more people die percentage-wise from the shootings,” he told reporters at a news conference in which he spoke of a White House meeting where he and other officials discussed gun policy.
“By reducing the shootings you expect to reduce the murders,” he added, saying the number of deaths was “frustrating.”
Last summer, McCarthy attempted to explain to the Union League Club in Chicago that there's a "perception issue" about crime in the city. A cluster of killings occurred during exceptionally violent weekends, and McCarthy says that the national attention this received made the problem seem worse than it is.
Tell that to the families of the victims.