Chicago's WGN TV reported there have been 1,009 homicides to date in 2021 in Cook County, an addition of more than 986 homicides in all of 2020. Homicide totals increased over 40% last year from 2019's whole of 675. A record 1,229 homicides were handled by the Medical Examiner's Office in 1991.
According to the report, the city of Chicago alone has reported 777 confirmed homicides in 2021, with just under 23% taking place in suburban Cook County.
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, states, "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 pressing the public safety committee chairman to carry hearings on gun violence.
Lightfoot blames the pandemic for the violence rising across big 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 went on.
"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."
African Americans accounted for 81 percent of the county's homicide victims, with Latinos making up just under 15 percent of homicide deaths. 88 percent of victims were men.
The youngest person murdered in Cook County in 2021 was a 1-month-old boy, with the oldest victim being an 84-year-old man.