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Arrest rates have dropped over past few years in Chicago as crime rates go up -- why?

Arrest rates have dropped over past few years in Chicago as crime rates go up 03:28

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Crime is going up in Chicago as arrest rates go down – and we're asking why.

As CBS 2's Sabrina Franza reported Friday night, it is victims' families are still looking for justice – like one we just met – who are hurting the most.

"He was so excited about turning 18," Jerryce Carter said of her son, Lee Carter Jr., as she broke down, "and for that to be taken from him? For that to be taken from him? Because he was so excited about being 18!"

Police said at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, April 9, Carter Jr. was standing in the driveway of his home in the Longwood Manor neighborhood when shots were fired.

Carter Jr. was shot in the chest and was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. But he did not make it.

"I would never wish this on my worst enemy. A mother – it's a pain that will break you; that will take the life out of you," Ms. Carter said, "and then, on top of that, you've got to figure out what, why?"

Carter Jr.'s mother has no justice. There have been no arrests and no leads.

"They don't have nothing to go off of, so how can they do their jobs if no one else is helping?" Ms. Carter said.

It turns out the rate at which the CPD has been solving cases for many violent crimes is at a shocking low.

We crunched the numbers using public city data. In 2022, there have been at least 2,422 robberies, but only 145 arrests – which is 41 percent less in 2022 than in 2019.

Back in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, there were similar robbery rates – but nearly 250 arrests.

Meanwhile, there have been 3,980 motor vehicle thefts this year – but only about 136 arrests. That amounts to about three of every 100.

"You need to build trust, and you have to have trust in the community; witnesses to come forward. You need to be able to work together with people to solve crime," said University of Chicago Clinical Professor of Law Craig Futterman, "and what we've also seen at this time is that trust in police, and it's almost like a vicious circle."

Futterman says there is also a police training and resource problem pushing the crime clearance numbers down.

"So there haven't been as sufficient number of detectives to investigate, solve crime, and take crimes like robbery seriously," Futterman said.

All the Carter family wants is their son's case taken seriously.

"Community – we've got to stick together," said Ms. Carter. "There's too many of our young kids dying senselessly in these streets."

There is one category of arrests that is going up – weapons violations are up 19 percent since 2019.

We asked the Chicago Police Department for comment on why they think arrest rates have been so low. They said arrests rates are actually up for murder and aggravated battery in 2022 compared with 2021

The CPD released this statement:

"The Chicago Police Department is focused on enhancing public safety in all of Chicago's communities through increased visibility, positive engagement, and consistent collaboration. Arrests for murders and aggravated batteries have increased year to date compared to last year as CPD continues its tireless efforts to remove violent offenders from the streets. The effort to combat violent crime is part of the Department's partnership with city departments and agencies to address the root causes of violence."

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