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ATF officers with San Jose police investigating a shooting in San Jose in May 2021. Photo: Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

2020 was California's deadliest year since 2007, as homicides increased by 31%, according to AP.

By the numbers: The state recorded 2,202 homicides last year — 523 more than in 2019 — and its homicides per 100,000 people rate rose to 5.5 from 4.2.

The big picture: Black people accounted for 31% of murder victims in 2020, even though they make up 6.5% of California’s population.

  • 45% of victims were Hispanic and 16% were white.
  • "Last year saw such a stark increase in homicides in part because the number and rate of homicides the year before were so low," AP writes.

Go deeper

U.S. violent crime rate rose for first time in four years in 2020

A police officer outside of a home in Farmingville, New York, in July 2021. Photo: Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

The estimated number of violent crimes in the United States rose for the first time in four years in 2020, according to statistics released by the FBI on Monday.

Why it matters: Legal experts told Axios' Russell Contreras that social-economic changes, like increases in unemployment, set off by the coronavirus pandemic likely contributed to the violent crime spike.

COVID-era criminals go free: Prosecutors dismiss cases as backlog mounts

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The pandemic slowed the criminal justice system to a crawl in much of the U.S., and now an increase in violent crime is straining the system even further.

Why it matters: COVID-19 has caused backlogs in criminal cases across the U.S. to swell, forcing district attorneys to focus on the most violent offenses — and decline, delay or deal down a slew of other cases.

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.