Homicides in the United States: 10 of the country’s most populous cities set records last year

Ten of these cities recorded more homicides in 2021 than any other year on record. These are Philadelphia; Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Tucson, Arizona. Minneapolis equaled his previous record number of homicides, with 97 during the years 1997 and 2021.

Many cities have seen homicides reach record highs in the past year. Chicago Police investigated 797 last year, the highest number since 1996. But more than 800 homicides have occurred in the city, including highway shootings, which are being investigated by a other body.

Homicides are also up 12% in Los Angeles from 2020 and 4% in New York. Several cities did not respond to CNN’s data requests; the number of cities reporting year-over-year increases could increase.

Homicides increased in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and subsequent unrest in cities across the country. For many cities, high homicide rates continued into 2021.

The increase in homicides – primarily by firearms – has occurred across the country. Thomas Abt, senior researcher at the Council on Criminal Justice, attributed the peak to three main factors: the impact of Covid-19 on communities and first responders; the fallout from social unrest after Floyd’s murder; and the surge in firearms sales since the start of the pandemic.

These increases are not isolated from any region. Year over year increases do not always portend a significant increase in crime. But almost all major US cities recorded more homicides in 2020 and 2021 than in 2019. Homicides rose sharply in the summer of 2020 and have remained at high levels since.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report 2020, homicides increased 30% from 2019 to 2020, the largest single-year increase the agency has recorded since it began tracking these crimes in the 1960s.
“The pandemic, like community armed violence, is concentrated among the poorest and most disenfranchised people”, Abt told CNN in December. “So these communities are doubly affected, not only by Covid-19, but by gun violence. “

At the same time, the institutions responsible for responding to the violence, including the police and community organizations, were also under pressure, Abt added, calling it a “perfect storm”.

Fueled by gun violence, US cities break homicide records
While experts say the reasons for the increase in homicides are varied, murders are increasingly being committed with guns. The increase in gun violence was highlighted in the DUC 2020 report, which said about 77% of reported murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, up from 74% in 2019. There is no federal gun sales database, but other independent surveys. found that gun sales have skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the FBI’s 2020 Crimes Summary Report, the number of homicides that year began to increase during the summer months, peaking in June and July and remaining at high levels. It is almost impossible to paint a complete picture of homicides in the United States. The DUC report is the most comprehensive data set available, but the participation of law enforcement agencies is voluntary.

About 85% of the nation’s more than 18,000 agencies have submitted their crime data for 2020 to the FBI. The DUC 2021 report is unlikely to be released until the end of this year.


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