The police department in the United States has managed to curb the rate of crime in many cities. However, Chicago remains alarming, as the crime rate is high. Chicago, as of 2016, the city continues to experience a spike in violent crime rates. In 2015, for example, 480 people were reported killed; in 2016, the number of murders increased to 754, which was a 58% from the previous year (Cassell & Fowles, 2018). Such statistics are alarming and demand exploration as to why the crime rate in the city is high while other city remains to record low cases annually. In this essay, the causes for increased crime rates will be explored, and possible solutions discussed.
First, before the spike in 2015, police conducted the stop and frisk operation around the city. According to Cassell & Fowles (2018), the stop and frisk helped search for illegal goods, gun, and maintain security. r After an agreement was made between police and the American Civil Liberties Union to stop the stop and frisk trend in Chicago, crime rates begun to increase because the lawbreakers were not threatened anymore and were free to carry guns. Second, Chicago being a major city, is prone to gang activities. The gangs have been in a rush to take control of the streets, and as they battle, many are reported dead (Petermon, 2016). Gangs are known for gun violence, and in their fights to control the street and protect their businesses, people end up dead.
Third, Race and poverty are contributing factors to the spike in violent crimes. Most of the homicides are among African Americans, and most are teenagers from low-income families. Most teens are recruited to gangs at a young age to gain a living, and many often end up murdered. Fourth, the increased spike in violent crime is related to the lack of transparency and accountability in the Chicago police department. The Chicago police department malpractices and lack of a commutability have made the department reluctant to serve the city citizen, and due to reluctance, many criminals continue to perpetrate crimes freely.
SolutionTo solve the issues, the police stop and frisk policy should be enacted. In the process, the police should be provided with body cameras to record their entre day operation, giving transparency while protecting the city. The government should spend more resources in Chicago to fight gang activities, reducing the number of young gang recruits from minority communities who end up uneducated and poor venturing into violent crimes. Besides, it will help minimize gang street shootings that leave a large number of people dead.
Cassell, P. G., & Fowles, R. (2018). What Caused the 2016 Chicago Homicide Spike: an Empirical Examination of the ACLU Effect and the Role of Stop and Frisks in Preventing Gun Violence.
U. Ill. L. Rev., 1581. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324244031_What_Caused_the_2016_Chicago_Homicide_Spike_An_Empirical_Examination_of_the_'ACLU_Effect'_and_the_Role_of_Stop_and_Frisks_in_Preventing_Gun_Violence
Petermon, J. D. (2016). The shadow behind the real: Spike Lee does Chicago. Film Quarterly, 70(2), 30-37. https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2016.70.2.30
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