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Investigating Injustice: Black women hit hard by crime

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Investigating Injustice: Black women at risk of violent crime 27:02
"Call To Action: Justice for Black Women" on CBS Chicago 00:30

Investigating Injustice is a series by the CBS 2 Investigators examining the disparate impact crime has on Black women in Chicago. If you were impacted by these types of crimes and would like to share your story, you can contact us here.

Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, in their own community, as they go about their daily lives.

For Black women in Chicago every day begins with the fear of becoming another tragic statistic. 

The CBS 2 Investigators analyzed more than two decades of police crime data connecting each report to a person, to a location, to a date and time and discovered a startling fact hiding in plain sight. Black women are disproportionately targeted when it comes to crime. And they have been for decades.


Resource Guide for Black Women

Click on the image to open the resource guide. 

"Call to Action" critical conversation event focuses on justice for Black women

Investigative Reporter Dorothy Tucker moderated an impactful conversational event at Trinity United Church of Christ on Thursday, focused on uplifting justice for women of color.  

Panelists included city, civic and community leaders. The 90-minute event stemmed from a 2023 investigation revealing disturbing data showing as many as one of every 3 victims of crime in Chicago is a Black woman.

The first panelists were Nicole Robinson who is CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Gabrielle Molden-Carlwell who works as a trauma therapist at Reslience, and Geneva Brown who is a professor of criminology at DePaul University.

All three women said they could relate as they have all been victims of crime in their pasts. Molden-Carlwell said victimization impacts a woman's entire life from professional to personal long after the crime occurs, "It weighs on their ability to form relationships. So much so that some people would just rather not. It's overwhelming. It is. Which is why I take pride in the work that I do."


Call To Action: Justice For Black Women | Full Special 01:17:32
By Dorothy Tucker

Call To Action: Justice For Black Women

Tune into CBS News Chicago as we present "Call to Action: Justice for Black Women" Thursday, April 25. This conversational event will open the discussion to issues facing Black women in the Chicago area, and will include three panels:

  • The Issue… The Data… The Reality
  • Hope & Resources
  • Leveraging Power & Hope: Local Agencies

Participating voices are expected to include representatives from:

  • Chicago Urban League
  • YWCA Metro Chicago
  • Chicago Police Department
  • Cook County State's Attorney's Office
  • Resilience Chicago 
  • North Lawndale Employment Network

Scan the QR code below to access a Call to Action resource guide providing information on hotline numbers and services for survivors.

CBS Chicago

Tune in at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to join the discussion!

By CBS Chicago Team

Black women victimized by crime

Victim identities are rightfully protected from public view, but data about a person's race, sex, and age can tell a great deal more than monthly figures of violent crimes. 

Through public records requests, CBS Chicago obtained police data that contains the victim profiles for every reported incident in the city over the last two decades, accounting for more than 8 million victimizations, and one group consistently held the burden of crime: Black women. 

In 2022, there were more than 26,000 violent crimes and more than 212,000 non-violent crimes in Chicago, ranging from shootings and robberies to retail and motor vehicle theft, affecting roughly 260,000 victims. 


By Dorothy Tucker

Black women share their frightening experiences being targets of crime in Chicago

Looking at 2022, of the 269,423 crimes reported in Chicago, 67,094 happened to Black women. Everything from theft to murder. That means Black women account for 25% of crime victims while they make up just 16% of the city's population.

In August 2023, Sierra Jamison, 29, discusses surviving attempted carjacking at south side gas station Tamott Wolverton/CBS News Chicago

Some brave Black women wanted to share their stories of going about their daily lives and suddenly being attacked by strangers. They shared their fears and hopes to help shine a light on a problem they say the city has largely ignored for years.


By Dorothy Tucker

Alderperson pushes for task force

After watching the CBS News Chicago's Investigating Injustice series of reports., Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) said he is exploring a task force to study the impact of crime on Black women in Chicago.

"What I want to do is get folks together from the Department of Family [& Support] Services, Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, and the Mayor's Office," he said.

Villegas said he would like to open task force discussions to the public as well. 

"We're gonna bring a lot of attention to this because we've got to bring solutions," he said.


By Carol Thompson

Kim Foxx calls findings showing as many as 1 in 3 Black women in 2022 were victims of crime "jarring"

Kim Foxx CBS 2

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Long before Kimberly Foxx won the 2016 election and became the first Black woman to serve as Cook County state's attorney, she was all too familiar with crime. 

She had been impacted as a child herself, she had witnessed her mother living with the aftermath of a crime she endured while pregnant with Foxx, and she had seen her extended family and friends become victims throughout their lives and hers. 

Now, Foxx is one of a handful of local, state, and national leaders responding a CBS 2 series of reports, Investigating Injustice: Black Women At Risk. More than 300 emails were sent to people in power, asking them to watch the series and respond. Foxx's team responded almost immediately. Her reaction: It's urgent to begin working toward change.


By Dorothy Tucker

Community groups call for action after CBS 2 investigation into Black women and crime

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A recent investigation by CBS 2 has revealed a disturbing statistic: Black women make up only 16% of Chicago's population, yet they accounted for 30% of all crime victims last year. 

This means that every half hour, nearly four Black women were victims of a crime.

This alarming data has spurred a call to action from prominent members of the Black community. Leaders gathered at the North Lawndale Employment Network to discuss the issue and explore solutions.

"It literally rips the very fabric of my heart to think that our people and our women, those who bring life into this world, continue to be victimized and not cared about," said Dr. Caroyln Vessel, CEO of I AM ABLE Center for Family Development.


By Dorothy Tucker

Special Report: "Investigating Injustice": Black woman most at risk for violent crime

Watch CBS 2 Investigators special report, "Investigating Injustice"

Investigating Injustice: Black women at risk of violent crime 27:02
By John Dodge
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