Murder Rate in the US Increased Nearly 30% in 2020, FBI Alarms

FBI’s Uniform Crime Report released on Monday shows the murder rate in the United State has increased almost 30% in 2020, the largest increase in modern US history since such data started being collected in the 1960s, Washington Examiner reports.

Though last year there were 21,570 murders in the US, almost 5,000 more compared to 2019, the rate of 29.4% or roughly 6.5 per 100,000 people is still down from the violent 1980s and 1990s.

Data shows that though the total US population has expanded by tens of millions of people since then, keeping the overall murder rate in the US still lower, there were more murders in 2020 than any year since 1995.

The murders peak was noted in the summer of 2020, after which it remained above normal the rest of the year, and it is believed to have continued to increase in 2021 though at a slower rate, at least based on the more limited data at the moment.

FBI’s 2020 report comprises data submitted by 15,897 federal, state, county, city, college, and tribal agencies.

Nationwide violence wave was unleashed last year after the unrest enticed by George Floyd’s, unarmed black man, death in police custody on May 25, 2020. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who caused Floyd’s death, was later found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

Protests were led by the Black Lives Matter movement with calls to defund the police, but resulted in violent riots, looted stores, destroyed property, burned buildings, and clashes with police.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s data, the global COVID-19 pandemic also caused rise in violence due to the strict lockdown orders, the increased unemployment rates and economic uncertainty that have also led to 29% increase in drug overdose deaths in 2020.

In another first in the last four years, FBI’s report shows an overall 5.6% increase in number of violent crimes when compared with 2019, resulting in 1.3 million violent crimes. Data also shows12.1% rise in aggravated assault offenses and 29.4% increase in the volume of murder and non-negligent manslaughter offenses.

The Biden Justice Department unveiled a new strategy in May to combat violent crime, arguing the Trump DOJ’s Operation Legend  approach last year was insufficient.

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