Chicago ended 2016 with more homicides than New York and Los Angeles combined – and the city’s former top cop is blaming the Black Lives Matter movement for contributing to the staggering tally.
Garry McCarthy, the former superintendent of the Chicago Police Dept., said protesters had created a “political atmosphere of anti-police sentiment,” helping lead to the 762 homicides recorded in the last year.
“So what’s happening, and this is ironic, is that a movement with the goal of saving black lives at this point is getting black lives taken, because 80 percent of our murder victims here in Chicago are male blacks,” McCarthy said on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show on Sunday.
McCarthy, who was fired in 2015 amid controversy over his handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting, said activism was “legitimizing” a belief in “non-compliance.”
The majority of the 3,550 shooting incidents in Chicago in 2016 occurred in mostly black areas and revolved around gang activity. More than 80 percent of victims in these episodes had been previously identified by cops as susceptible due to gang ties or a past arrest.
“Chicago is probably the worst example of something that has happened across the country,” McCarthy said.
DeRay Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter leader, told the New York Daily News that controversial police shootings – like that of McDonald – bore more responsibility for the uptick in violence than protests did.
“The movement began as a call to end violence and that call remains true today,” Mckesson said.