Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shootings By The Numbers

The Sun-Times has a pretty good series running about the escalating murder rate in Chicago, backed with some pretty interesting statistics pinned to a map.  Check it out here.  Red dots are shootings where someone died, and yellow dots are non-fatal shootings.

In 2012, to date, Uptown has fewer murders than Lakeview or Rogers Park, and an equal number as Edgewater.  We exceed the number of non-fatal shootings in Lakeview and Edgewater, but trail Rogers Park.  It's an interesting map to play around with, if you're into that sort of thing... check out some of the West and South Side communities where the dots are so numerous that they stack up on each other, like confetti on a sidewalk.

It's also interesting to read how small a group of people are involved in the violence, both as victims and aggressors:
Murder occasionally is random, but, more often, he [sociologist Andrew Papachristos] found, the victims have links either to their killers or to others linked to the killers. Seventy percent of the killings he studied occurred within what Papachristos determined was a social network of only about 1,600 people — out of a population in those neighborhoods of about 80,000.

Each person in that network of 1,600 people had been arrested at some point with at least one other person in the same network.

For those inside the network, the risk of being murdered, Papachristos found, was about 30 out of 1,000. In contrast, the risk of getting killed for others in those neighborhoods was less than one in 1,000.

“It thus appears that murder in these communities occurs in a very small world where the victims are just a few handshakes away from each other,” he wrote in a paper last year titled “The Coming of a Networked Criminology.”
The entire report is here.  Enlightening look into the gang and violence epidemic.


  1. Good to know. BTW, were there any reports of shots fired in the vicinity of Aragon Ballroom last night, approx. 1:30 AM. I thought I heard 4-5 shots, but may have been dreaming.

  2. Uptown is not all that bad, as the article shows but still bad enough. I sure would like to see the South and West side maps. The whole map must be full of dots. Just be gald you live in Uptown and not in the South-Side areas where gangs, drugs, and shootings are a everyday day occurence. Uptown has it`s problems but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel...

  3. Not sure that I agree with this chart at all. I know of at least 3 incidents on Sunnyside between Magnolia and Racine this year. And this map is showing 1. When was the cut off for this?

  4. Did anyone else notice that last night was an utter circus in the neighborhood? Bands of white-shirted young men literally running up and down the streets for hours between Lawrence and Wilson Sheridan to about Beacon.

  5. I agree HotDog, this chart is completely off. What about the group of thugs that were shot at Sheridan and Windsor this Winter? More than often there are unreported (NEWS WISE) shootings where people are stepping over bloody concrete... To Wiseguy, you are right, Uptown isn't THAT bad but it is far from great and leaning away from good. Just because there is violence reported in other areas of the city more often is a reason to worry. Why such the cover up? If it isn;t broadcasted then nothing really can be done about it. Uptown has by far the most low income housing in ALL of Chicago including the SOUTH and WEST side. More should be done to bring about awareness of the day to day crime and shootings occuring in Uptown rather than throw a band-aid over it. I guarentee you Uptown has way more dots as well, they are just covered up by condos!

  6. We report on shootings. If you find one in 2012 that isn't listed on the map... point it out. Seems pretty accurate to me.

  7. I think this reflects where someone is actually shot and not random shots that do not hit anyone.

  8. March 19th
    1 Hispanic male shot 4500 N. Broadway
    May 29th
    1 teen KILLED Laurie's Pizza
    June 18th
    1 Male KILLED Lawrence and Sheridan
    June 27th
    1 Male shot Uptown/Edgewater border 5400 North
    July 1th
    1 Male shot 4500 N CLarendon
    July 3rd
    3 shot 1 Male/2 Females
    July 6th
    1 shot Malden ave
    July 7th
    1 Male shot Clarendon and Wilson....

    The list unfortunately goes on, I'm not trying to say that the job of this blog and it's contributors isn't being done, what I am stating is that it is a larger problem than what the media is telling. With misguided information it is hard to actually get some resolve going! I agree the South and West side is infested with gang activity and killings, however it is known! To not deal with the exact issues down plays the severity of them.

  9. My son-in-law, a detective, tells me the only reason we don't have the murder rates from the 90's is because of advancing medical care. Which means more "victims" are surviving the shootings. Sometimes the "victims" are last weeks offenders. Oh and Ceasefire led my Jeff Fort's daughter was just granted 1 million in federal funds.

  10. Realist,

    What do you mean the list goes on? Are you counting shootings that you expect to happen in the future?

    The Sun Times map matches your list, but you have 8 shootings and they have 7. I'm guessing that Edgewater border one is the difference.

    I don't think lots of people are being shot in Uptown without the police/media knowing.

    It's also harmful to deny progress.

  11. "More should be done to bring about awareness of the day to day crime and shootings occuring in Uptown rather than throw a band-aid over it." -Realist

    I'm not clear what you mean by this statement. Do you get the alderman's newsletters? Do you go to CAPS? What's the band-aid you're talking about?

  12. @Nick,
    First and foremost I have TEN not EIGHT listed, yes when you are speaking of shootings 2 makes a difference. Secondly, I am not expecting nor looking forward to ANY more shootings, the statistics are.. When I stated "Unfortunately the list goes on" what I meant by that is there were more shootings listed that I found on Blotters as well as another BLog for the Uptown area that I didn't post due to the TEN that I posted proving my point. There is absoulutely no denial of progress where it is made, however, to keep throwing out comments (Not from you but in general) that compares the shootings and crime occuring in Uptown to the South and West sides of Chicago, the residents of Uptown will always see the "Progress" if you can count 7 shootings as opposed to 10. 1 is too many!

  13. @Holy Moley
    The "Band Aid" that I am speaking of is the level of coverageor lack thereof that has been portraded in the media and news outlets that downplays the severity of the crime that has most recently infected Uptown. The Alderman who has replaced the old admistration is more involved and aware of the crime in the area, this I'm aware, I am also aware that Uptown continues to become more infected with crimes not just shootings and there is no getting around that.

  14. Realist,

    You're counting the three-victim shooting of two women and a man on July 3 as three shootings. The Sun Times has it as one shooting, but clearly states that there were three victims when you click on the dot.

    I assume you meant March 27 for the Edgewater border shooting you list as June 27. That's on the map.

    That brings it to 8 vs. 7. The only one you report that isn't in the Sun Times is July 7th shooting at Clarendon and Wilson. I can't find any evidence of this. That was just a few days ago and close to my place, so I'd really appreciate it if you can send a link confirming the incident.

  15. http://www.chicagonewsreport.com/2012/07/july-7-drive-by-shooting-in-uptown.html

    Granted the Malden shooting was 2 individuals shot, the report as you stated called that one shooting, The July 7th shooting, the individual walked himself into treatment. I actually heard of this story through close, slow walking behind some who were out at the time that this shooting occured. Gang retaliation of course.

  16. chicagonewsreport is the most racist and unreliable "news" site out there...that place makes me sick to my stomach.

  17. Even if the Suntimes report is off by one or two in Uptown I am sure they have the same margin of error accross the board.
    So its a wash.

    The fact is even with our Olow-income" housing percentage we are just as safe as the more fashionable areas.....go figure.

    I can see this argument being made in Lakeview asking "why is our murder rate higher then Uptown?".

    I guess it is all a matter of perspective, but from the way things look Uptown has an underserved reputation. It also looks like this little piece of empirical evidence, imperfect as it may be, points out that so very much the hyperbole about low-income and crime is over-blown and fear driven.

  18. Littleton states: "the hyperbole about low-income and crime is over-blown and fear driven."

    That's all fine and dandy but seems like most of these shootings in Uptown occur right by or in front of a Section 8 housing project. I'm sorry, but the facts are the facts.

    Most of the people living in said housing are law abiding and want peace but I am not going to turn a blind eye to the correlation between the shootings and the type of housing stock by which they take place.

    1. Fair enough Miss Kitty. Like you said most people are good law-biding people. Everybody is more then just the housing type they live in right?

      I think we all need to pay attention to those west and south side hot zones. It may look like they have their crime and we have ours, but to a big degree we share the same problem.

      We share the same police force, the same municipality, Rapid Transit system, etc.

      What happens in Englewood don't always stay there, same for Austin, Lawndale or west Humboldt Park.

      We need to start looking at the big picture. Having large un-police-able areas of concentrated poverty will affect a larger area negatively and continue the generaltional crisis.

      Uptown is a mixed-income neighborhood, and our crime is on a parity with some hoity-toity neighborhoods.

      We can and will do better but not bad eh?

      Let's give ourselves a little credit....if WiseGuy can do it so can you!

  19. There are some very frequent commentators, particularly in the last few months. that have a vested interest in trying to white wash the problems with low income housing. They live in low income housing, they benefit from it, and are undoubtedly worried that it may affect their future.

    I think it is intellectually dishonest to try and argue a point as though from a dispassionate place, when in fact, they are a direct beneficiary from it.

    1. Ok Superhero...I will take it up....

      In regards to a "vested" interest and attempt to "whitewash" problems in lo-income hsg.

      I've made no attempt to hide the fact that I live in Mercy Hsg. Fortunately Mercy is very secure in its position, well run. I am not worried about my own situation. Besides being a resident I have no additional vested interest as say a section 8 landlord. I am not on any staff, etc...

      In regards to intellectual dishonesty...

      I am not anonymous, you are. There is nothing wrong with that on its own.
      Is it intellectually dishonest for a condo owner to comment, anonymously or otherwise, on condominium matters? Even if they have a financial vested interest? Even if they are promoting a scenario that would benefit that vested interest?
      I would say it is well within the condo-owners right to express that opinion. Call it dispassionate or passionate we all deserve to be heard in civil discourse. Most are passionate about.....something.

      This is what I believe you do, your not a "dispassionate" voice based on your comments face-value. Neither am I.

      I think you have a right to express your opinion regardless. It is not neccessary to disclose your situation for context, it helps. We are all biased in some way or another, let freedom ring and instead of pointing accusing fingers make an "intellectually honest" counter-argument.

      The fact that I live in Mercy Hsg. gives me some insight, I share it, and you share your thoughts...a square deal eh?

      We all have a "vested" interest in our Uptown. I am the 3rd generation of my family in Uptown, it might not mean a can of beans to you but to me it counts for sumtin'.


  20. Yes I do agree with Littleton to a degree about spillover violence, if you drive a area like east garfield park its a warzone, loitering everywhere and the place looks horrible. And it shouldnt be the case.

    Yes East Gp isnt that close to Uptown but it can be accessed by EL.

    1. It is difficult to define or measure what the degree of "spillover" violence is.

      We do know that Chicago has a uniquely entrenched gang culture unlike other big cities. These large areas with the dots like confetti as someone above put, are the mothership, the nexus of the problem.

      The gangs are city-wide networks, generational, and the problems we have on the northside is organizationally related on top of the easy transit links.

      So what happens in Englewood or Garfield Park for example matters in Uptown.

      @ Superhero,

      Who are these "people"? We must silence these charlatans!!