The reports on the murder increase in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, where 506 homicides were tallied last year, a 16 percent increase over the year before, blurs the fact that the homicides, most of which the authorities described as gang-against-gang shootings, have not been spread evenly across the city, says the New York Times. Instead, they have mostly taken place in neighborhoods west and south of Chicago’s gleaming downtown towers.
Like other cities, Chicago has long been a segregated place, richer and whiter on the North Side, and the city’s troubling increase in killings has accentuated a longstanding divide. “It’s two different Chicagos,” said the Rev. Corey B. Brooks Sr., the pastor of New Beginnings Church on the South Side. More than 80 percent of the city’s homicides took place last year in only half of the 23 police districts, largely on the South and West Sides. The police district that includes parts of the business district downtown reported no killings. While at least one police district on the city’s northern edge saw a significant increase in killings, the total number there was dwarfed by deaths in districts on the other sides of town, particularly in certain neighborhoods.