There was a noticeable rise in homicides in the United States in 2020, in fact an increase of 30%. The actual rate per 100,000 of population rose from 6 to 7.8 homicides. Washington, D.C., had the highest homicide rate with 24.4 killings per 100,000, while
other states with high rates were Mississippi, 20.5, Louisiana, 19.9, Alabama, 14.2, Missouri, 14, and Arkansas, 13 killings per 100,000. (1)
Of a total of 17,754 homicide victims recorded by the FBI, the majority were male, 7,029 were white, 9,913 were black, 497, were other race and 315 unknown. Of 20,982 homicide offenders, 27.9%
or 5,844 were white, 38.8% or 8,142 were black, 1.95% other, and 31.4% or 6,592 were unknown. It appears the majority of victims and the majority of killers were black. (2)
There is some controversy about the reason for the rise in homicides. Some put it down to a drop in prison populations brought on by “coronavirus protocols”. In 2020 US state and federal prison populations fell by 15%, the lowest levels since 1992.
There was also a big drop in prosecutions; In California for example there was a 66% drop in prosecutions. (3)
The riots and other repercussions
following the George Floyd incident seems to have led to less officious policing, as officers are no longer putting their heart, soul and knee into their job like they used to.
Unfortunately the rise in killings continued into 2021 with at least 12 major US cities having broken annual homicide records even before the year had ended. Philadelphia with 1.5 million people had at least 521 homicides, and increase of 13% over 2020 and
more than either the nation’s two biggest cities, New York and Los Angeles. Chicago, the US’s third biggest city had at least 974 homicides in 2021, while Columbus, Indianapolis and Louisville had record numbers of slayings. Things don’t
look to be improving as there were 344 deaths and 560 injuries in the week ending 11 January 2022. (4)
Hate or “bias” crimes have also been increasing in the US. The number of single bias crimes was 7,103 in 2019 but this rose to 8,052 in 2020. The latter involved 11,126 victims. The major categories of single-bias were those involving race/ethnicity/ancestry,
61.8%, religion, 13.3% and sexual orientation, 20.0%. Of 6,780 known offenders, 55.1% were white and 21.2% were black. (5)
Hate crimes against
Asians are said to have increased by 73% in 2020, which is considerably higher than the general rise in hate crimes. It is also claimed that Asians are less likely to report crime and are the least likely to report hate crimes. (6)