"HUMAN life is the cheapest thing in Chicago," recently declared Judge Cleland. "This city," he asserted, "witnesses a murder for every day in the year." Now 365 homicides a year would mean, for Chicago, that one out of every 5,614 of her citizens is destined to be murdered each year; or, in other words, that 17 in each 100,000 of the population would annually meet death at the hands of a fellow citizen. This would place Chicago on a criminal level with Lexington, Ky., where nearly 39 per cent, of the population are negroes. In Chicago the negro element forms scarcely 2 per cent, of the total inhabitants. As a matter of fact, however, whereas Lexington stands first in the scale of American cities in respect to the ratio of deaths by homicide to total population, Chicago stands about eighth in the list, showing a lower record for homicides than either San Francisco or Los Angeles, as may be seen in the accompanying table.
Table showing the Annual Average of Deaths by and Arrests for Homicide in each 100,000 of Population, in Various Cities of the United States, based on Reports of Health Officers and of Chiefs of Police. (Most of the averages given are for a period of six years.)
|City||Annual Average of Deaths by Homicide per 100,000 of Population.||Annual Average of Arrests for Homicide per 100.000 of Population.|
|St. Louis, Mo.||14.16||11.30|
|San Francisco, Cal.||9.25||19.69|
|Los Angeles, Cal||9.00||4.86|
|Greater New York||4.93||13.23|
|Providence, R. I.||3.59||1.70|
|Baltimore, Md||. 3.39||7.74|
|St. Paul, Minn.||2.32||2.13|
|Newark, N. J.||1.50||9.16|
- As the Census estimate of population is too low, the ratio of deaths by homicide is proportionately too high.
- Probably incomplete returns on number of deaths by homicide.