Chicago drives up national murder rate

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CHICAGO — Chicago’s spike in murders has been high enough to make a major impact on the national murder rate, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.

The center analyzed data from the 30 largest American cities in 2015, and found that while overall crime remained the same from 2014, murders were up 14 percent. Half of that increase is being tied to Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Chicago had 468 murders in 2015 compared to 416 in 2014, an increase of 12.5%.

Chicago is the only large city in the study expected to see back-to-back increases in both violent crime and murder. Violent crime across the country is also expected to rise by 5.5%, and the report says half of that increase is caused by Chicago and Los Angeles. The report lists possible causes like poverty, gang violence, and fewer police officers.

This week, the Chicago Police Department will announce the hiring of 500 new police officers. Hundreds of current officers will be promoted.