U.S. murder rates up in 2020. Why?

Police prove they should not be trusted and that calling them for help may result in your and yours being murdered by them, if you are Black anyway. Police do not get looked to for help.

At the same time, violent crime has gone way up.

It’s a mystery.

Not “at the same time”, but earlier.

44 homicides in 2020 compared to 31 in 2019 is a definite increase, but neither number is particularly big for a US city of nearly a million people.

Interestingly, the Canadian city of Calgary also had a homicide spike in 2020 with 33 homicides, up from 21 in 2019.

I think everyone has covered most of the possibilities, it seems like we probably won’t really know the answer for years, if ever. The baseline higher homicide rate is heavily influenced by easy access to firearms in the United States, but YOY changes should be comparable across OECD countries if covid quarantining caused broad cultural changes similarly across those countries. I haven’t seen enough complete data anywhere (including here) to fully understand how the numbers look in comparison.

I also think it’s worth noting a lot of cities massively scaled back enforcement targeted at lower level crimes at least in the earlier parts of covid, as it wasn’t seen worthwhile to risk cops having to do the close contact field work over minor shit. Many states and cities have released tons of people on pre-trial confinement and even commuted prisoners out of state prisons. I suspect the recidivism rate among the people in state prisons is relatively low because I think it was weighted more towards people near the end of their sentences and the older inmate population, who often have “aged out” of crime to some degree. But I think the society wide “interference” with lower levels of policing, both in terms of less arrests, people being released from pre-trial confinement, charges being dropped etc may have resulted in a lot of people who otherwise would have been locked up not being locked up. I can imagine a scenario where two guys get into it on the street and get arrested, where before they might eat a charge and be in jail for a little bit, instead the police ROR them and they meet up the next day and one kills the other, situations like that would be more common in the covid world.

It’s easy to understand not being motivated to work when people start yelling names or worse every time you show up. But there are in fact allegations that beyond that the police are doing a deliberate work slowdown due to make a point “look what would happen if there are no police”. Although this dates from before last summer when they were allegedly doing it to demonstrate the need for more officers. They’ve been kind of useless in a lot of ways for some time. There was the widely reported 6700 serious 911 calls that were never answered in 2019. Or the experience of many suburbanites who visit the city, they treat auto burglaries as a parking fee for visiting the city (and tell crime victims just to make a report on 311 for their insurance) rather than a crime to investigate and throw the criminals in jail where they belong.

Calls to abolish the police may be universal for rich white elite liberal virtue signalers, but actually in the black neighborhoods that are bearing the burnt of the Minneapolis crime wave, opinions are a lot more divided.

? Even among so-called “rich white elite liberal virtue signalers”, AFAICT, there seems to be damn little support for actually abolishing police altogether.

There’s a whole lot of support for various nebulous interpretations of proposals to reform the police, but that’s a different thing.

Never let an obvious fact get in the way of an ignorant rant. It’s the RW way!

Here’s a detailed review from Vox:

That’s an excellent article. Thank you for the link.

De rien.

This assumes access to guns has a linear effect, and not a multiplicative one - not just giving a higher baseline, but also geometrically-higher spikes because it’s easier to go DV Assault->DV Murder or Store Rage → Store Murder or Park Tussle → Park Multiple Homicide in the USA than other OECD places.

I mean most countries track non-murder violent crimes as well which could be compared.

Another item though is as pointed out in the Vox article: gun sales spiked this year. Which amplified the amplifier.

That could be either a cause or effect, though. You seem to be assuming it’s a cause, in that a lot of people went out and got guns for whatever reason, and once they had the guns were more likely to shoot people. But it’s also possible that there was a rise in demand for guns because there was a rise in criminal activity requiring guns.

[It’s also possible that the increased gun sales were to a completely different demographic than that which produced the increased homicides, i.e. people concerned about rising crime and civil unrest and just looking to protect themselves in that eventuality. Or people concerned about tougher gun laws in the event of a Biden win. But even if not, the above might be true.]

The Vox article is pretty good; it helps explain why it’s so complicated. Nothing involving lots of humans is ever easy.

Yes, I find the Vox “Explained” articles are generally well put-together.

Also from Vox (note that this is about the years prior to 2020): How Black Lives Matter protests may affect police violence and murders

From 2014 to 2019, Campbell tracked more than 1,600 BLM protests across the country, largely in bigger cities, with nearly 350,000 protesters. His main finding is a 15 to 20 percent reduction in lethal use of force by police officers — roughly 300 fewer police homicides — in census places that saw BLM protests.

Campbell’s research also indicates that these protests correlate with a 10 percent increase in murders in the areas that saw BLM protests. That means from 2014 to 2019, there were somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 more homicides than would have been expected if places with protests were on the same trend as places that did not have protests.