Any analysis of crime in Evanston has a distinctly racial component. Black residents are more likely to be victims of crime — and are also more likely to be criminal suspects.

Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington notes that of the 27 homicides in the city since he became chief 10 years ago, in all but one case a minority group member was the victim.

And, in all but one case, the chief says, a minority group member was charged with the crime or is the prime suspect.

The exceptions — one case in which a white person killed a black person, and another in which the races of the victim and killer were reversed.

And, last year, when crime victims gave police a description of who victimized them, 65 percent of the time they said the criminal was black.

Sixty percent of the men arrested on felony or misdemeanor charges in Evanston last year were identified as black.

Fifty-four percent of the women arrested on felony or misdemeanor charges in Evanston last year were identified as black.

Yet even adding up all the felony and misdemeanor arrests, and not accounting for multiple arrests of the same person, the vast majority of the more than 13,000 black residents of Evanston identified by the census were not engaged in criminal activity — which was also true of the vast majority of members of every other racial and ethnic group.

Related story

Race and results in traffic stops (3/6/17)

More news about police performance.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Great Report

    Hi Bill:

    Great Report.  Is it possible to determine how much criminal activity is due to Evanston residents and how much is due to outsiders?

    1. Outsiders?

      Don’t have that info at hand. Will inquire. But need to realize that the travel goes both ways. Some out-of-town bad guys do crimes here. Some of our home-grown bad guys do crimes in other towns (and the latter data would likely be harder to get).

      — Bill

      1. Just one thing….

        I’m sure the police have stopped repeat, or known, offenders many times within a given year.  If that peson(s) is black, this data doesn’t mean much. I remember the chief saying he was going to use “Stop and frisk” on the members of those warring families, all of whom I’m guessing were black. That probably resulted in hundreds (if not thousands) of stops of black males, even though very few people were affected. 

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