Homicide Surge in Major U.S. Cities Continues Into 2021
Many of America’s major cities are reporting a continued surge of violent crime entering 2021, a continuation of a trend that started over the summer of 2020 when racial justice riots rocked many cities and a movement to defund police departments gained steam.
From Just the News:
Numerous cities nationwide reported elevated murder rates through the year, with cities like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia posting double-digit increases.
Chicago’s latest crime report shows that its year-to-date homicides are up 43% relative to the same time last year. Most other crime categories, violent or otherwise, were down in the early weeks of 2021, but “shooting incidents” were up 61% relative to the same time period in 2020.
New York City reports a similar, 42% increase in its year-to-date murder rate. The 28-day homicide rate — part of which stretches back into the last few days of December 2020 — was up a staggering 94% relative to the prior year. As with Chicago, most other crime rates were down, and New York’s murder rate — even with its recent spike — remains far below the levels of the 1980s and early 1990s when the city was notorious as a hotbed violent crime.
The nation’s second largest city, Los Angeles, has scene a surge of murders, up a staggering 136% from 2020.
Meanwhile in Seattle, a city that has seen an unrelenting surge in protest and riot activity in recent months, Sgt. Randy Huserik with the Seattle Police Department indicated there was no doubt the city has been victim to rising crime.
“[W]e have definitely seen an uptick in some crimes in recent years,” Huserik said. “To address the increase, as well as facing record numbers of officers leaving the department in 2020, our Chief has redeployed officers previously working in follow up and other support units back to patrol, as well as forming the Community Response Group, which is tasked with managing ongoing demonstrations/protests as well as responding to 911 calls and taking up proactive patrols.”
The news comes as there has been a growing movement across the country to defund police departments amid claims America’s policing tactics disproportionately harm communities of color.
Some major cities have followed through on the movement despite rising crime rates, slashing budgets and reorganizing their departments around less aggressive policing tactics.