Much of the recent news about Chicago has been regarding this year's number of shootings and murders. What isn't well publicized is the fact that only 21% of murders in the city are cleared (solved). A similar problem exists in Detroit where only 30% are cleared. Los Angeles is only slightly better at 40%. In the country as a whole, only 64% of murders are solved. This average is well down from 90% in 1965. All told, nearly a quarter of a million murders have gone unsolved since 1980 with another 5,000 added each year.
One would have thought that with today's high tech tools such as DNA and the national fingerprint data base and identification system, crime fighting would have gotten much better. But, the ability to solve murders still relies heavily on the human element.
In Chicago, the low clearance rate is a result of three factors that are probably common to many of the cities that have this problem. First, many of the murders are committed by gangs and the members of the community fear that they too will be murdered if they come forth as witnesses. Additionally, there is an increasing mistrust of the police; and again, witnesses not coming forward. Finally, because of budget cuts, too few personnel are available to perform proper crime scene investigations and detective work.
It always seems as if videos are taken when a police officer shoots someone, but where are those same cameras when someone is being murdered or shot without police involvement? Also, mistrust has only increased because we have a President and other leaders that continually imply that police are guilty of racial bias.
Something has to change, or many more murders will go unsolved. This is especially true due to the rising murder rates in our major cities as a result of the Ferguson effect. Sending in the Justice Department to discipline our police on the reckless assumption that they're racist isn't going to resolve anything.
Getting Away With Murder: Police fail to make an arrest in more than a third of the nation’s killings: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21656725-police-fail-make-arrest-more-third-nations-killings-getting-away
As Chicago killings surge, the unsolved cases pile up: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-homicide-clearance-rate-20160909-story.html
Shoddy LAPD record keeping muddies murder statistics: http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20140628/shoddy-lapd-record-keeping-muddies-murder-statistics