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Chicago sees homicide spike in August amid ‘difficult days’ for police department

Brothers charged in fatal shooting of Chicago officer Ella French

Former Dallas police officer C’mone Wingo speaks about the ‘defund the police’ movement after officer Ella French was killed in Chicago.

Chicago saw a significant jump in homicides in August compared to the same time frame last year, highlighting the “difficult days” the police department faced in a month that saw one of their own violently killed. 

The Chicago Police Department said Wednesday that the city experienced 78 murders last month, a 22% increase compared to August 2020. 

In total, murders have increased 3% across the city compared to last year, the department said. 

Chicago Police investigate a crime scene where three people were shot at the Wentworth Gardens housing complex in the Bridgeport neighborhood on June 23. The city reported 78 murders in August, a 22% jump compared to August 2020, the Chicago Police Department said Wednesday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“We deeply understand how important it is for our residents to feel safe within our neighborhoods across the city,” police Superintendent David Brown said in a statement. 

The worrying figures came weeks after Chicago police officer Ella French was gunned down during a traffic stop. She was shot in the head and her partner, Carlos Yanez Jr., is recovering from his injuries. 

Two brothers are charged in connection to the killing. Eric Morgan, 22, is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and obstruction of justice. A third police officer shot him as he ran from the scene, police said. 

Monty Morgan, 21, is charged with first-degree murder of a peace officer, attempted murder of two other officers, unlawful use of a weapon, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. 

Monty "Emonte" Morgan, middle, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Chicago police officer Ella French, left, as well as attempted murder and other charges. His brother, right, was also charged. 
(Chicago Police Department )

In his statement, Brown said the department was “re-tooling” its crime-fighting strategies to combat the spike in violence. 

Despite the uptick in murders, the city saw 20-year record lows in burglaries and robberies in August. Eight districts also saw 20-year lows in car thefts, police said. 

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