Crime has raged in major U.S. cities since early 2020. Big cities such as Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, and San Francisco have been overwhelmed by gangs, drugs, and homelessness. Shootings are on the rise, resulting in the victimization of innocent people, increasingly including young children.
The FBI’s annual crime report, released yesterday, documents a sharp rise in violent crime year-over-year from 2019 to 2020. Law enforcement officers reported a total of 7.6 million arrests throughout the country. This is the first time since 2016 the nation’s violent crime rate has increased.
Violent crime was up 5.6 percent in 2020, the FBI reports in a press release.
Violent crime includes murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crime includes burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
The total cost of property crime in the United States is calculated at a loss of $117.5 billion in 2020, Townhall reports. This figure excludes costs incurred because of arson. Although arson is considered a property crime, that statistic is not included in the property crime data because the data is considered unreliable.
The FBI Crime Data Explorer shows homicide and vehicle theft as the crimes with the most dramatic increase.
“Violence stalked most major cities, the report found, even as the coronavirus pandemic exacted its own deadly toll across the country,” writes Kevin Johnson for USA Today.
“What is striking, in addition to the sheer increase in homicide, is how widespread it was in 2020,” criminology professor Richard Rosenfeld told USA Today.
Even as violent crime surged last year, Democrat politicians and left-wing activists demanded further cuts to police budgets and reductions in law enforcement staffing levels, which they continued to call for in 2021.
Cities experiencing the worst of the crime surge are many of the same places that decimated their police forces through budget cuts and restrictions on enforcement tactics.
The Minneapolis City Council pushed through a reduction of the city’s police force while violent riots rocked the city throughout the summer of 2020. Residents of that city are expected to vote on a complete elimination of the police force this November.
Demonization of the police was widespread in 2020, resulting in attacks on and murders of police officers, Budget & Tax News reports. The rioting brought forth a passive political response to activists attacking police with impunity. For months, rioters were allowed to throw rocks, bricks, fireworks and random objects at police. Police officers were killed deliberately, some ambushed while in their vehicles, or even their homes.
A midyear report for 2021 provided by Major Cities Chiefs Association, a coalition of the nation’s largest police agencies, indicates homicides have continued to rise. The organization also reports a corresponding increase in cases of rape and aggravated assault.
With the data confirming what many experienced in 2020, the public has been expressing concern about the continuing rise in crime as police are removed from their protective posts.
Retired SWAT Officer Steve Rodriguez says “in the end, it’s the people who will suffer” from governments’ failure to apprehend wrongdoers and hold them responsible for their crimes, and the continued demonization of police.
“Welcome to the future: neighborhoods like Somalia and other areas where the criminal warlords control everything within their territory,” Rodriguez said.