Daily US Times: Major cities in the US saw a 33% increase in homicides last year as coronavirus pandemic swept across the country, the economy collapsed under the weight of the pandemic and millions of people joined protests against racial injustice and police brutality — a crime surge that has continued into the first quarter of this year.
According to a report produced by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, sixty-three of the 66 largest police jurisdictions saw increases in at least one category of violent crimes in the last year, which include rape, homicide, robbery and aggravated assault. Raleigh, North Carolina and Baltimore City, Baltimore County , did not report increases in any of the violent crime categories.
It’s nearly impossible to attribute any year-to-year change in violent crime statistics to any single factor, and shootings and homicides are an intensely local phenomenon that can rise for dozens of reasons. But the increase in homicide rates across the United States is both far-reaching and historic, as were the Covid pandemic and social movements that touched every part of society last year.
Experts point to a “perfect storm” of factors — social anxiety because of a pandemic, economic collapse, de-policing in major cities after protests that called for abolition of police departments, the release of criminal defendants pretrial or before sentences were completed to reduce risk of Covid-19 spread in jails and shifts in police resources from neighborhoods to downtown areas because of those protests– all may have contributed to the spike in homicides.
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