Homicides soared nationwide in 2020-2021, and 2022 may turn out to be another banner year.
President Biden’s proposal to hire more police came too late for thousands of murdered Americans.
The U.S. murder rate reached its highest per capita level in over two decades in 2021, according to FBI data charted by The New York Times.
(Sources: Jeff Asher; FBI)
The total number of murders soared from 2019 to 2020, from 19,100 to 24,576, before jumping another 6% last year, to 26,115, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- A number of cities have reported even more murders so far this year than they did after record-high bloodshed on their streets in 2021.
Big police departments — including in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle and Baltimore — have sounded the alarm about current or imminent manpower shortages.
- Law enforcement experts have attributed greater turnover among officers in part to public anti-police sentiment following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.
- The U.S. homicide clearance rate fell to around 50% in 2020, the most recent year for which data are available, marking a half-century low.
- Police were even less likely to solve murders where the victims are black or Hispanic, according to the FBI.
Democrats, who govern many of America’s most crime-ridden cities, have scrambled to distance themselves from progressive calls to “defund the police” and to establish law-and-order credibility ahead of this year’s midterm elections, Axios reported Monday.
- Biden was scheduled Thursday to unveil a new $37 billion law enforcement plan, including hiring 100,000 new police, but the announcement was delayed by his COVID diagnosis.
- Just 18% of Americans supported defunding the police in 2021, according to a recent survey by USA Today and Ipsos.
- Meanwhile, 50% backed “major” police reform, and 39% wanted minor changes, per a Gallup poll published in May.