Chicago saw 280 shootings and 50 homicides just in the last month.
January's homicide tally has not been that high since at least the year 2000, according to a Chicago Tribune review of publicly available crime numbers.
According to Interim Police Supt. John Escalante, the "unacceptable increase in violence was driven primarily by gang conflicts and retaliatory violence."
"The vast majority of incidents originated from petty disagreements that escalated into gun violence that tore apart families," he stated. "Chicagoans should know that detectives are making progress in January's investigations and have already solved 14 murder cases this month."
The crime spike follows public furor over last November's release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video as well as other high-profile police shootings in the city.
The public scrutiny over police misconduct appears to be a concern among Chicago officers.
"I've gone to the roll calls and I've heard their concerns about not wanting to be the next viral video," Escalante stated. "Even when they're doing something right, it may not be perceived that way."
Some police officers, meanwhile, claim a so-called "ACLU effect" could be a factor behind the recent crime spike.
Last year, the city and ACLU entered into an agreement to reform the police department's stop-and-frisk practices. As part of the agreement, police have had to collect more information on "contact cards" used to document a stop as of January.
The number of completed contact cards was down 79 percent last month compared to the same time in 2015. Some police officers say they are making fewer stops due to the length of time needed to complete the contact cards. They also said they are worried about repercussions they could face for making a stop eventually determined to be illegal.
In light of the drop in completed contact cards, Escalante told the Chicago Sun-Times that the department is "conducting training on the new investigative stop law and reporting requirements and that is taking place three shifts per day."
The ACLU disagrees with claims that the spike in Chicago shootings is connected to the decrease in police stops. An ACLU official pointed out that other municipalities did not experience an uptick in shootings when they reduced police stops.