U.S. Murder Rates Were Up Big In 2020

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The 2020 murder numbers are in, and not only are they ugly for the United States of America, they’re up by numbers this country hasn’t seen in decades. Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy group, and the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, found disturbing numbers that will likely have an impact on U.S. cities for decades to come.

How bad is it out there? “Homicides rose sharply in 2020, and rates of aggravated assaults and gun assaults increased as well. Homicide rates were 30% higher than in 2019, an historic increase representing 1,268 more deaths in the sample of 34 cities than the year before,” the study reports.

According to the New York Times, a “25 percent increase in murder in 2020 would mean the United States surpassed 20,000 murders in a year for the first time since 1995.”

Other findings in the report: 

• Aggravated assault was up 6%; gun assaults were up 8%

• Robberies declined by 9% — makes sense since the country was pretty much closed down

• Domestic violence was up during the first few months of the pandemic but went back to fairly typical numbers by the end of 2020

• Residential burglary was down 24%; Drug offenses were down 30%; Motor vehicle theft was up 13%

Solutions to the murder problem:

• The authors say “urgent action is necessary to address these rapidly rising rates. Subduing the pandemic, increasing confidence in the police and the justice system, and implementing proven anti-violence strategies will be necessary to achieve a durable peace in the nation’s cities.”

• Further down in the report, the authors have an interesting viewpoint on how to stop people from killing each other: “To sustainably reduce homicide and other violent crime in disadvantaged communities, those communities must believe they are being treated fairly and appropriately by the police and other components of the justice system.”

So, people have to believe they’re being treated fairly by the police which will, in turn, make them stop killing each other? That’s a bold statement from the authors.

The authors also added in their report that, “sustained reductions in violence depend heavily on improving the fairness and legitimacy of the justice system in general, and policing in particular.”

Read the report. Try to find a section on personal responsibility or the destruction of gangs.

In Chicago, 875 people died from gun violence in 2020, and 78% of those victims were black. It was a gun violence record and surpassed 1994 as the deadliest gun violence year in Chicago’s recorded history. The 2020 gun violence number didn’t just beat 1994, it crushed a year that saw 838 homicides. Police investigated 4,033 shootings in 2020, up from 2,598 in 2019.

A lack of fairness and legitimacy in the justice system didn’t cause gun violence to all of a sudden jump like that in Chicago.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. Joe, thanks for the article. You are asking too much for anyone to take personal responsibility for the murder rates sky rocketing. See Clay’s article about the media’s treatment (or lack thereof) of Deshaun Watson’s litany of law suits and the victimization pyramid. Most of the murders that occur in this country are black on black. That clearly does not fit the narrative. So now, its back to the tired old gun control arguments and blame the broken justice system. Sure why not.

  2. But rememeber…the only mass shootings that matter is when the media covers it, the leftists have a race angle on it, and poltiicians can ram gun control because of it.

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