Virginia City Fearful It’s Becoming Like Chicago

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

Richmond, Va., citizens are worried their city is becoming like Chicago.

Violent crime has already gone up by 25 percent since the new year began, reports WTVR. Nine homicides have been committed in Richmond so far; if this continues, the city will reach 108 murders for 2017.

“Any shootings, violent crime, or homicide is one too many,” Deputy Chief Steve Drew said. “We saw a spike in homicides last year and that is not going to be our new norm. We are not going to accept that.”

The homicide count rose in Richmond from 2015 to 2016. The city saw 43 homicides in 2015 and 62 homicides happened in 2016, data from the Richmond City Police Department reveals. (RELATED:Black Pastor Urges Community To Stop Treating Police As The Enemy)

Now, the continuing rise in crime has residents comparing their city to Chicago.

“I’m already in this area and I could potentially have children and bring them into this environment. It’s scary. It makes me not even want to procreate,” Jasmine Miles, a South Richmond citizen, said.

Chicago boasted a homicide count of 762 last year, a number not seen in almost 20 years. Richmond police officers have spoken out on the comparison.

“The percentage is close, but the population is very, very different,” Drew said. “The numbers in a smaller city make a bigger influence on the percentage rate, for sure.”

In the meantime, the police department hopes to solve more crimes and get the criminals off the streets.

“When we get homicides in our city, a lot of people come forward and they want to share information, but when we see shootings, we don’t get so much of that,” said Drew.

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