Americans will remember 2020 for lockdowns, protests, and a controversial election—but they might also remember it for a historic surge in murders.
The FBI won’t release its official data until September, but preliminary findings from the bureau and local law enforcement agencies indicate that murder rates rose by at least 25 percent nationally. If that bears out, the U.S. would eclipse 20,000 murders in a year for the first time since 1995.
“We’re going to see the largest one-year rise in murder that we’ve ever seen,” Jeff Asher, crime analyst and co-founder of AH Datalytics, told The Dispatch.
The rise in murder was not limited to large cities, and it’s not just a blip. The deadly wave of violence has carried over to 2021 as the number of homicides rose about 20 percent compared to the first few months of 2020 and by about 49 percent compared to the same time period in 2019.