Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Murder rate surges in big cities

Officers cleaning a street.

The scene of a Sunday shooting in Southeast D.C. that killed a 17 year old. Four gunmen fired at least 100 rounds amid hundreds of people at a block party, hitting 22, per the WashPost. Photo: NBC4 via AP

Major cities saw a spike in murders this summer, even as overall crime rates remained at a generational low, according to The New York Times.

Where it stands: The average murder rate across 20 major cities averaged 37% higher at the end of June than at the end of May, the Times reports, citing University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld. It increased by 6% over the same period last year.

  • "Some experts have pointed to the pandemic’s destabilization of community institutions, or theorized that people with a propensity for violence may have been less likely to heed stay-at-home orders," the Times writes.

Zoom in: 122 people have been killed in Kansas City, Mo., this year, compared to 90 at the same time last year. The city is on course to surpass its 1993 record 153 murders.

But, but, but: Crime overall and major crime are still down, with the exception of murder, aggravated assault and car theft in some places.

  • "Nationally, crime remains at or near a generational low, and experts caution against drawing conclusions from just a few months," per the Times.
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