Governor falsely claims violent crime has been falling in Chicago ‘for three years’

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker unloaded a whopper of a lie on Monday that would make even the Chicago Police Department’s boldest press relations executive blush.

“Violent crime has been coming down [in Chicago], actually for three years, but in particular over the last year,” Pritzker said during an afternoon Q&A with Crain’s Chicago Business, according to The Center Square.

“Shootings and murders have come down significantly,” Pritzker continued. “Again, it doesn’t make anyone feel safer to just hear a statistic; it will take some time, but that is something people should know.”

“[The Chicago Police Department] publishes statistics where you can see where the problem areas are with car thefts and robberies and so on, but shootings and murders have come down significantly,” Pritzker said. 

Let’s take a look at those statistics published by CPD, governor. Here are the year-to-date historical comparisons from its most recent report, dated November 19.

Violent crime, a term defined by the FBI, includes the murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated battery categories on CPD’s chart.

Criminal sexual assaults are up in comparison to every year since 2019. Robberies are way, way up compared to those years. Aggravated battery has increased from last year but is down compared to earlier years. And, yes, while murders have declined, they remain 23% higher than 2019.

Overall, Chicago’s violent crime is up 18.3% compared to 2019, according to CPD’s “CompStat” data. It’s up 16.8% compared to 2020. It’s up 17.1% versus 2021. And it’s up 6.3% compared to last year.

What is our governor smoking?

While the citywide numbers are bad — and definitely not down — some police districts are in even worse shape than Chicago overall.

The Grand Central (25th) District is struggling with a 128% increase in robberies this year. Robberies are up 125% there compared to 2019. Murders in the district are up 50% from last year and up 60% compared to 2019.

Robberies in the Shakespeare (14th) District are up 57% from last year. Compared to 2019, they’re up by 128%, that’s 198 cases, more than offsetting the five fewer homicides, 16 fewer sexual assaults, and one fewer aggravated battery.

The Near West (12th) District has seen six fewer murders this year than in 2019. Unfortunately, it has experienced two more sexual assaults, 32 more aggravated batteries, and 453 more robberies.

On the North Side, the Town Hall (19th) District CompStat historical comparisons are almost all in the red. Every single category, violent and non-violent, is up this year compared to every year since (and including) 2019. The only exception is murder. Town Hall has had four of those this year, which is flat compared to 2019 and 2020. It’s up one from 2021 and down six from last year.

You can review all 22 police districts’ CompStat numbers here. If you see the governor, feel free to share the link.

About Tim Hecke 221 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com