Study: Killings surge in 2020; pandemic, protests play roles

Police Duty
Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 01, 2021

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Killings rose dramatically across the U.S. last year, and a study suggests that the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice unrest were factors.

The study released Monday by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, along with Arnold Ventures, looked at crime rates in 34 cities.

It found a 30% spike in homicides in 2020 compared to 2019.

Study leaders called for urgent action to improve relations with police and expand anti-violence initiatives.

A study author says many officers were forced to quarantine last year, and maintaining social distancing kept them from the sort of community outreach needed to help stop violence before it happens.

According to The Associated Press, St. Louis was the most violent having recorded 262 killings last year, the most since 267 in 1993, when the city’s population was substantially higher.

The study showed that homicides were 30% higher than in 2019 and rose in 29 of the 34 cities studied.

Killings more than doubled in Chula Vista, California, and Chandler, Arizona, The AP reported.

Larger cities were hit hard, too: Milwaukee’s homicides rose 85%, Seattle saw a 63% increase, killings in Chicago jumped 55%, while New York added 131 homicides, rising by 43%.