Crime statistics released by the Chicago Police Department Saturday show that crime overall has decreased this year, but the number of murders and shootings is up.
There were 10 more murders in July this year compared to 2014 and 11 more shooting incidents, according to police.
Victims in this year's fatal July shootings include a 7-year-old boy killed on the Fourth of July and a teen killed while playing basketball in Hadiya Pendleton Park. Neither were the intended victims of the violence, police said.
While murders and shootings have risen, Chicago saw a 9 percent reduction in overall crime, including a decrease in robberies, burglaries and felony thefts. According to Chicago Police, overall crime in the city is down by 40 percent since 2011.
Police maintain that illegal guns are among the most serious issues in Chicago. As of July 31, more than 4,200 illegal guns were recovered, which amounts to one illegal gun taken off the streets every 80 minutes, police said. Additionally, there have been 2,295 gun-related arrests this year, which is a 4 percent increase from last year.
The issue of illegal guns was brought to light in the shooting death of 7-year-old Amari Brown on the Fourth of July. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy blamed lax gun laws for the reason Amari's father, Antonio Brown, was already in custody. Brown, who had 45 arrests on his record stemming from gun and theft charges, was the intended target of the bullet that killed Amari, according to McCarthy.
"CPD will continue to identify dangerous offenders in communities long plagued by violence and go after them with a razor-sharp focus," McCarthy said. "As a city, we must continue to work together and send a very clear message that we do not tolerate gun violence in our communities and offenders will be held accountable."
In addition to spouting crime statistics, Chicago Police also released information about police training. Almost all officers have completed at least part of a two-phase procedural justice training designed by Yale University to help foster better relations between communities and police. The department says complaints against officers have decreased more than 15 percent this year.
The statistics were released two days before McCarthy heads to Washington, D.C. to participate in a summit on gun violence with police chiefs from other major U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.