WBEZ | homicide rate http://www.wbez.org/tags/homicide-rate Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago’s murder legacy http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/chicago%E2%80%99s-murder-legacy-102126 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lazarus%20photo.jpg" style="height: 419px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="In this 1908 photo, a Chicago police officer holds up the dead body of Lazarus Averbach. Averbach was an alleged anarchist who was shot and killed by police during his attempt to reportedly assassinate Police Chief George M. Shippy. (Chicago Daily News/Chicago Historical Homicide Project)" />The <a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/">violence in Chicago</a> this summer has been staggering and has garnered the city some <a href="http://gawker.com/5934608/chicagos-shootings-didnt-happen-in-a-movie-theater-but-its-still-the-worlds-deadliest-city">unwanted national attention</a>. But Leigh Bienen says Chicago has always been a town defined by murder and violence. It&rsquo;s not surprising she should feel this way. As the creator of the <a href="http://homicide.northwestern.edu/">Chicago Historical Homicide Project</a>, Bienen, a professor at Northwestern University&rsquo;s School of Law, has spent years pouring through a database of more than 11,000 murders committed in Chicago between 1870 and 1930.&nbsp;</p><p>The database was compiled from thousands of pages of hand-written police records, some of which are available on the project&rsquo;s website. Bienen says it is one the most complete records of historical murders in any American city.&nbsp;Some of the murders tracked by police were high-profile: those committed by the infamous pair of Leopold and Loeb, for instance. But Bienen found herself most moved by the more ordinary but still tragic murders committed by the non-famous: husbands killing wives, mothers killing children.&nbsp;</p><p>In the audio above, Bienen lists examples of the most common kinds of murders that cropped up throughout Chicago history. Unfortunately, there is a lot that observers of today&rsquo;s climate of violence will find familiar. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Dynamic Range&nbsp;showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Leigh Bienen spoke at an event presented by Chicago History Museum in November of 2011.</em></p></p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/chicago%E2%80%99s-murder-legacy-102126 The essence of the George Zimmerman issue http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-03-30/essence-george-zimmerman-issue-97761 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-30/RS5190_AP120314092848-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Look at this video:<br><object allowfullscreen="true" allownetworking="all" allowscriptaccess="always" data="http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/0_g6q0hh6g/uiconf_id/6501142" height="350" id="kaltura_player_1333124667" name="kaltura_player_1333124667" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="630"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"><param name="movie" value="http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/0_g6q0hh6g/uiconf_id/6501142"><param name="flashVars" value="referer=http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/george-zimmerman-police-surveillance-16024475&amp;autoPlay=false"></object>Does this look like a man who was in <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/29/george-zimmermans-father-claims-trayvon-martin-beat-his-son-threatened-his-life/">a fight for his life</a>? Does this look like a man with a broken nose? Whose head was repeatedly smashed to the ground?</p><p>I don’t care if George Zimmerman is a racist or not (his being half Peruvian and having black friends does not give him immunity), if he said <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izCPNku_dVY">“coons or goons”</a> on the 911 tape, if he bawled for days after he killed Trayvon Martin (however much he hurts, he’s alive to hurt); I don’t care one whit about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law (especially when most of <a href="http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/30/dave-kopel-zimmerman-wasnt-the-victim-stand-your-ground-doesnt-apply/%20">the bill’s sponsors say the law doesn’t apply </a>to this case).</p><p>Here’s what I know: Homicide isn’t even in the top ten causes for white males, but it’s the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/men/lcod/index.htm">number one cause of death for black males</a>, ages 15 to 34.</p><p><!--break--></p><p>And here’s what anybody with common sense can hear on the 911 tape and see in this police video: A man who was <a href="http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/326700-full-transcript-zimmerman.html%20">expressly told to stop following Martin by the police</a> and chose to do otherwise (no matter why, no matter his intention), a man without a scratch on him who claimed his life was in danger as a defense/excuse to shoot someone.</p><p>Will someone please arrest this man?</p></p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-03-30/essence-george-zimmerman-issue-97761 2010 homicide rate lowest since 1965 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police-superintendent-jody-weis/2010-homicide-rate-lowest-1965 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/cityroom_20090305_aomar_554714_Jody_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said there are two main factors contributing to the 45-year low in the number of homicides last year: technology and an improved relationship between police and residents.</p><p>Weis said technology allows police to focus on areas where data suggests crimes may occur. But he said residents provide the key information that not only solves crimes but can actually prevent them.</p><p>&quot;We're slowly chipping away, just chip, chip, chip, chip at this code of silence and we're starting to see some positive results,&quot;&nbsp;he said.</p><p>Weis said the department is also working on accountability and professionalism. </p><p>&quot;When people look at police officers they have to look at, there's someone I can go to, someone I can trust.&nbsp; It should not be someone that they fear,&quot;&nbsp;he said.</p><p>The 435 murders in 2010 is the lowest number since 1965. In the 1970s, the yearly average was closer to 800. But Chicago still has a much higher murder rate than many other U.S. cities, including New York. Weis said there are too many variables to compare city to city.</p><p>Weis is touting Chicago's lower homicide numbers at a time when his future with the department is uncertain. His contract expires soon and Mayor Richard Daley, who appointed Weis, is retiring.</p></p> Tue, 04 Jan 2011 13:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-police-superintendent-jody-weis/2010-homicide-rate-lowest-1965