Of all the ways 2020 was terrible, one of the worst was its violence: A study found the murder rate in America saw “a large and troubling increase that has no modern precedent.” And it’s plainly the fruit of the anti-policing movement.
The country hadn’t seen an increase in homicides of more than 13 percent for a half-century, but murder across America soared by 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, the National Commission of COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found, a “historic” increase: “Homicide rates were higher during every month of 2020 relative to rates from the previous year,” based on a sample of 34 cities, including New York.
Gotham’s homicide rate rose 43 percent, with 131 more killings, the report noted, while Chicago saw 278 more, for a jump of 55 percent.
“It’s clearly related, in part, to the coronavirus and to the fact that people are cooped up,” Mayor de Blasio has said. Really? In pre-pandemic January and February, as the report notes, the city murder rate jumped 32.5 percent.
More significant was the 37.2 percent uptick seen June through August, a “precipitous rise” after civil unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
St. Louis’ 2020 murder rate hit a 50-year high. “When people set things on fire, when people assault folk during the protest, those are things that we have to monitor,” its police chief, John W. Hayden Jr., recently noted. “Certainly, that pulled away from resources that would have been dedicated to crime-fighting.”
“Urgent action is needed,” the report warns. “Subduing the pandemic, increasing confidence in the police and the justice system and implementing proven anti-violence strategies will be necessary to achieve a durable peace in the nation’s cities.”
But “increasing confidence in the police and the justice system” is hard when protesters on the street shout, “Every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground!” and “ACAB” graffiti lines urban streets — and politicians, eager to appease the mobs, “defund” the police and handcuff them with new restrictions.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea pleads for prosecutors and judges to get tougher on gun criminals and violent crime. Certainly, something has to change or the nation will break more records in 2021.
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