UPDATED 7:57 AM PT — Monday, August 3, 2020
Cities across America are seeing a drastic surge in homicides as hatred towards police is deepening nationwide.
According to a Wall Street Journal study released Sunday, murders across America’s 50 biggest cities are up by 24 percent. This amounts to more than 3,600 murders in 2020 alone.
The study collected data from cities nationwide, while noting which ones are run by Democrats and Republicans. The report showed that Democrat-run cities have seen an increase in homicides by 25 percent, while Republican cities have increased by 15 percent.
36 of those 50 cities studied reported a double-digit growth in homicides. The statistics, however, are still not as high as they were in recent decades.
The study also found that other forms of crime, such as robbery and rape, have declined. Some analysts speculated this is due to the fact that criminals are less likely to break in when they know residencies are occupied due to stay-at-home orders.
Researchers believe the cause of the sudden increase in homicides is due to churches, schools and other institutions being closed while police are simultaneously being ostracized.
“The criminals feel like they can do whatever they want to do, they know the police department is at a vulnerable state right now with staffing levels and with morale,” stated Rich Walker, Sr. of the Minneapolis Police Federation. “…Cops are relatively reserved right now, they’re answering their calls, but they’re not going that extra mile.”
Police also said individuals joining gangs due to lack of structure during the coronavirus pandemic is another potential reason for the surge in crime. Additionally, some officers suggested crime began to climb when prisoners were released due to fear of contracting COVID-19.
“It’s very alarming…you can almost draw a line on it if you look at the start of April when they started releasing prisoners back and they started having zero bail,” said Chief Andrew Hall of the Fresno Police Department. “So even if you catch somebody they don’t go to jail, we’ve seen a huge spike in crime.”
Low-income and minority communities are heavily affected by the rise in homicides. Police are concerned the increase in crime could result in residents fleeing urban areas with some departments transferring officers to other units in an effort to control crime.