Annual Homicides in Illinois’ Cook County Spike Past 1,000

Annual Homicides in Illinois' Cook County Spike Past 1,000 chicago mayor lori lightfoot listens during a news conference Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 30 November 2021 10:52 PM

For the first time in 27 years, the number of homicides in Illinois' populous Cook County surpassed the 1,000 mark. In 1994, there were 1,141.

Chicago's WGN TV reported there have been 1,009 homicides to date in 2021 in Cook County, an increase over 986 homicides in all of 2020. Homicide totals rose more than 40% last year from 2019's total of 675. A record 1,229 homicides were handled by the Medical Examiner's Office in 1991.

The city of Chicago alone has registered 777 confirmed homicides in 2021, with just under 23% occurring in suburban Cook County, according to the report.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has received criticism over her administration's handling of gun violence. On Thanksgiving weekend, according to Breitbart, 40 people were reported shot on Sunday morning alone.

Will Calloway, a criminal justice reform activist, says, "nobody's going to save us. Let's put an end to this madness. Come on, there's babies getting shot in the streets."

The call to reform gun violence in Chicago comes at the expense of 20 city council members urging the public safety committee chairman to conduct hearings on gun violence.

Lightfoot blames the pandemic for the violence surging across major U.S. cities.

"There's no question that the COVID-related impact on the public safety system in Chicago, in New York, in L.A., D.C. and other cities across the country is real," Lightfoot told MSNBC. "And what we've got to continue to do is make sure that we're demanding of our courts and our prosecutors that they hold violent people accountable and keep them off our streets."

"It is a huge issue for us in Chicago, and we have to continue fighting that fight," Lightfoot added.

"And then we've also got to play the long game at getting at the root causes of the violence, which is poverty, lack of investment, lack of jobs and … lack of hope. We got to disrupt the pipeline of young souls that are going to the streets and subject to the predatory tactics of the gangs by giving them hope in a future that isn't minding somebody's corner spot."