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Law & the Courts

Chicago 2015: Shootings by Police Down, Shootings by Everyone Else Up

Speaking of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports:

Chicago police officers shot 22 people in 2015, eight of them fatally. That’s a 40 percent drop in the total number of people shot compared with 2014, when 37 people were hit by police gunfire and 16 of them were killed, according to department figures.

Since 2011, the number of people shot by Chicago’s cops has gradually declined. That year, they shot 56 people, 24 of them fatally, department figures show. In 2012, Chicago police shot 45 people, killing 12, and the following year, officers shot 35 people, killing 14.

Good news! Except that, over the same period, total shootings in Chicago increased 13 percent, from 2,619 in 2014 to 3,004 in 2015, according to HeyJackass.com, which tabulates shootings using local law enforcement statistics and reporting from local media. (The Tribune puts the raw numbers slightly lower — 2,599 in 2014 and 2,986 in 2015 — but the percentage increase is about the same.) Moreover, that follows a 14 percent increase in shootings between 2014 and 2013, per the Tribune.

So, in Chicago, the police are shooting fewer people, and the residents are shooting more. Is that glass half-full, half-empty — or just hopelessly cracked?

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