At least 12 major U.S. cities have already set historical murder records in 2021, three weeks before the end of the year.
Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth-largest city, recorded 523 murders as of December 7, surpassing its former grim milestone of 500 murders, set in 1990.
Despite having approximately six times fewer residents, the City of Brotherly Love had recorded significantly more murders in 2021 than New York City’s 443.
MAP BREAK— MAGA Country Poso (@JackPosobiec) December 8, 2021
12 American cities broke homicide records this year pic.twitter.com/oaMN6Hxc5A
“It’s terrible to get up every morning and have to go look at the numbers and then look at the news and see the stories. It’s just crazy. It’s just crazy and this needs to stop,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, reportedly said after his city surpassed its own infamous benchmark.
Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; St Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Tucson, Arizona; Toledo, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana;
Austin, Texas; Rochester, New York, and Albuquerque, New Mexico also had their deadliest years on record, according to ABC News.
Five of those cities topped notorious benchmarks that were set in 2020, the article stated. All of them were led by Democratic Mayors, as are the vast majority of U.S. cities.
Of the dozen cities that have already surpassed the grim milestones for killings, five topped records that were set or tied just last year. https://t.co/8acZcUdiMj— ABC News (@ABC) December 8, 2021
According to FBI data, nationally, homicides rose by about 30% in 2020 compared to the previous year. It was the largest one-year jump since the bureau began keeping records. Guns were used in more than three-quarters of the murders, statistics showed.
Experts suggest the recent rise in national crime in smaller cities, suburban and rural areas, came even as the country’s biggest cities had become much safer since the crack cocaine epidemic several decades ago.
“In the ’90s, New York and Los Angeles accounted for 13.5% of all murders nationally. Last year, it was under 4%,” data consultant Jeff Asher told NPR in September. “So it’s a lot more diffuse than it was in the ’90s.”
The U.S. city with the most homicides was Chicago, the nation’s third-largest. Chicago’s 753 murders so far to date this year were still well behind its 1970 record of 954 killings, according to ABC.
Some criminologists have blamed the soaring murder rate on pandemic-related stress, criminals having too much free time on their hands, political and racial conflicts exacerbated by the police murder of George Floyd, and the subsequent retirement of police officers en masse.