Audrey Conklin, Fox News, July 30, 2021
There were 259 more murders in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, and 548 more compared to the first half of 2019 in 29 major U.S. cities, according to a Thursday update to the Council on Criminal Justice’s (CCJ) pandemic crime report.
The study’s updated findings by CCJ, a nonpartisan criminal justice policy organization, indicate an upward trend in violent crime that began in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, though CCJ notes that increases in murders slowed between the first and second quarters of this year.
In May and June of 2020, after the first few months of U.S. COVID-19-related lockdowns, CCJ recorded a 37% spike in homicides in 27 major U.S. cities led by Chicago, Philadelphia and Milwaukee, according to the council’s first pandemic crime report.
The unfortunate trend appeared in smaller locales in 2020, too. The FBI’s Preliminary Uniform Crime Report released in September of 2020 found a nearly 15% increase in murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses across the country based on information from more than 12,000 law enforcement agencies, rather than just those in major cities.
“A precipitous rise in homicide in the late spring of 2020 coincided with the emergence of mass protests after George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, although the connection, if any, between the social unrest and heightened violence remains uncertain,” researchers wrote in the report’s conclusion.
Despite these higher murder rates, CCJ’s latest report update points out that homicides are still well below 1990s levels at 15 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2021 compared to 28 murders per 100,000 residents in 1993.