Murders Increased Nearly 30 Percent in U.S. in 2020

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According to FBI reports (WSJ).  From another story: The data shows the murder rate rising to large heights in the summer of 2020 and then remaining above normal the rest of the year. The jump is the biggest since this data started being collected like this in the 1960s (Washington Examiner).

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Murders Rose Nearly 30% in the U.S. in 2020, FBI Reports

By: Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2021:

The number of homicides in the U.S. rose nearly 30% in 2020 from the prior year to 21,570, the largest single-year increase ever recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The rate of 6.5 homicides per 100,000 residents is the highest since 1997 but still below historic highs of the early 1990s.

The violent crime rate rose 5.2% last year compared with the previous year while the property crime rate dipped 8.1%, according to data released Monday by the FBI.

Cities are working to address the increase in killings, with some reversing cuts to police departments made in 2020 in response to the defund-the-police movement.

Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, who studies trends in homicides, said last year’s murder increase was startling given the years of declines that preceded it.


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“The rise in homicides coincided with the pandemic last summer, and also the outbreak of widespread protests against police violence after George Floyd was murdered… neither of which was anticipated,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

Data from major cities indicates the increase in killings has slowed so far this year, but homicide rates are still above pre-pandemic levels, he said.

The causes of the homicide rise over the past year have been debated by political leaders and researchers and are being studied. Some politicians and law-enforcement officials have said that a police pullback has been a factor in places like Portland, Ore., which has seen a large increase in homicides.

Some researchers blame frayed relations between law enforcement and Black communities after high-profile police killings, such as that of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Others point to the stress from the Covid-19 pandemic and the temporary shutdown of the court system………..

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