Chicago was the nation's murder capital in 2012, statistics released this week by the FBI confirm.
The city recorded more than 500 homicides in 2012, exceeding New York City, which recorded 419, and Los Angeles, which recorded 299, according to FBI data. The populations of both NYC and LA are greater than Chicago.
The news comes as Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy says he's fighting a perception that the city continues to lead the country in murders and crime.
Earlier this month, McCarthy said homicides in the city were down 23 percent so far this year.
"The perception issue is something that is real hard to get across when we're having some progress," McCarthy said.
Despite taking the top spot in the 2012 rankings, statistics indicate Chicago was still safer than other U.S. cities when crime was viewed on a per-capita basis. DNAInfo Chicago crunched the FBI's numbers and found that Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore, Newark, Oakland, Stockton, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Memphis and Atlanta all had higher per-capita murder rates.
According to FBI data, the City of Chicago recorded 13,476 robberies, 12, 272 aggravated assaults and more than 17,000 vehicle thefts in 2012.