Chicago continues to outpace last year’s shooting and homicide totals through the first eight months of the year, following one of the deadliest months of August in the last two decades, according to police data.
Monthly crime figures released Wednesday by the Chicago Police Department show the city has recorded 524 homicides and 2,344 shootings so far in 2021. Those totals are up 3% and 9%, respectively, over the same time period last year.
In the month of August alone, Chicago recorded 78 homicides, making it the second deadliest August since 1996, according to CPD data. That total includes the killing of police Officer Ella French, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop early last month.
Her mother, Elizabeth, published an open letter Tuesday on what would have been French’s 30th birthday, thanking Chicagoans for their support over the last few weeks.
“Your beautiful and heartfelt words of comfort, prayers, and donations will be remembered forever,” Elizabeth French wrote in the letter. “More importantly, your love and support during this difficult time will be a treasure I carry with me for the rest of my life.”
French’s partner Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. was also critically wounded in the shooting and is continuing his recovery.
This year in Chicago, 2,951 people have so far been shot — an increase of 9% over the first eight months of 2020, according to police data.
In its monthly data release, the CPD highlighted its recent community engagement efforts at block parties and back-to-school events, as well as the COPS & KIDS Chess Summer Camp, the Westside Sports Baseball League and the Neighborhood Youth Corps.
But the department also recognized the “challenging time across the city” as violent crime totals continue to rise.
“We deeply understand how important it is for our residents to feel safe within our neighborhoods across the city,” Superintendent David Brown said in a statement. “We are re-tooling our crime fighting strategies to stop the spike in crimes that we are seeing so we can bring a greater sense of safety to our communities.”