American Cities See Crimes Rise since 2004

Washington D.C. saw its 200th homicide this year, which is the highest threshold for homicide since 2003. A man was shot at a gas station in Southeast Washington just after 10:15 PM. The victim was identified as Dawann Saunders. He was just 30 years old.

Homicide had been falling until 2012 and staggered until 2021, when the homicide rate rose past 2004 levels. However, this trend is not isolated to Washington, D.C.; 29 cities all saw a rise in crime compared with September data from last year, according to Council on Criminal Justice.

FBI reported that killings have increased 30 percent since 2020 across the country. Baltimore for example, saw more than 300 killings for the 7th year, homicides in Philadelphia reached 497 on Monday, which is 13 percent higher than this time last year.

At the moment, reason for the killings is unclear. And as cities are dealing with the shift in priority of seeing crime as a public health emergency rather than police intervention event, it is currently difficult to tell exactly what the correct line of action might be.

D.C. police union attributes the rise in homicides to changes in policing after the 2020 social unrest after the murder of George Floyd. Activists claim that these new policing limitations are preventing police brutality, but critics believe that this limitation is preventing effective crime minimization.

There are also 200 less D.C. officers than last year, as more than half of the 417 members left since June 2020 and did so before being eligible for retirement.

Unfortunately, the rise of gun violence is still concentrated in high-risk groups, and the data continues to confirm this. DC is trying multiple methods such as introducing programs to schools, diverting calls from the police on certain mental health concerns, boosting job trainings for people and investing in housing.

The results seen in DC if improved, could be a model for the rest of the country to follow. Most seem to agree however, that police alone should not be the only ones keeping peace in the city.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

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