The stories coming out from Chicago and Baltimore paint an increasingly pessimistic picture: that America’s inner cities are transitioning into a warzone, where violence has returned to levels not seen since the drug wars of the early 1990s.
Take for example Chicago, five men were killed and at least 20 people shot over the four-day Christmas holiday weekend. Last year, 59 people were shot over the same period, leaving 11 dead.
Across the United States, homicides rose about 9% last year with more than one-third of the increase concentrated in Chicago neighborhoods, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Despite the overall deterioration of American inner cities, there was some improvement in areas such as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., where declines in violent crimes have been in downward trajectories since the 1990s.