Good news from Chicago: The catastrophic murder rate in the Democratic-controlled city was slightly less catastrophic in 2013 than in 2012.
Only 413 Americans were shot, stabbed or bludgeoned to death in the city, where all 50 aldermen are Democrats. Most of the victims in the blue-voting city were African-Americans or Hispanic, and very few were white.
Still, the city’s Democratic leaders cautiously cheered the deaths of the 413 Americans, more than one victim per day, which included one young woman who marched in President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration parade.
“We continue to make significant progress in reducing crime rates to historic levels, and gains are being made in all communities across Chicago,” said a statement from Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The 413 murders are “good news for our children and families… [and] we will continue working until everyone enjoys the same sense of safety,” said Emmanuel, who worked as Obama’s first chief of staff.
“We’ve seen a major decrease here,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a radical, Democrat-affiliated priest in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, and a former community organizer who worked with Barack Obama in the 1990s. However, Chicagoans must be “very careful that now people don’t kind of lull themselves into a sleep,” he said, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
The toll of 413 dead is down from the 2012 score of 503 dead. Chicago has a population of 2.7 million and has only had Democratic mayors since 1931. By comparison, New York, with more than 8 million, suffered only 333 murders in 2013 as of Sunday. The Big Apple elected Republican Rudy Giuliani in 1993. Giuliani’s successor Michael Bloomberg was also a Republican who went Independent in 2007.
The 2012 slaughter prompted social media users to label Obama’s adopted hometown as “Chiraq,” “Shot-Town” and “Killinois.”
The 2013 murder toll is also down from a record high of 943 in 1992, under the 22-year tenure of Democratic Mayor Richard M Daley. He’s the son of a prior Democratic mayor of the city, and the brother of another Obama chief of staff, William Daley.
Obama lived in the city, and was a Democratic state Senator, from 1997 to 2004, during a time when 5,118 of his fellow citizens were murdered. In 2012, he based his reelection headquarters in the city.