Op-Ed: Why the big spike in murders in the U.S. in 2020?

Murders surged in 2020. Here’s what we know

The past year was a nightmare in many ways for the US, between Covid-19 deaths and the collapsing economy. But it’s now clear that 2020 was bad in yet another way: Over the year, America’s murder rate surged dramatically.

“It is the largest year-to-year increase we’ve seen in a very long time,” Princeton sociologist Patrick Sharkey told me.

The surge is from a relatively low baseline of murders, after a big drop in crime and violence America since 1990, known as the “Great Crime Decline.” But that’s one reason experts are concerned: This breaks a period of relative peace in the US.

Here’s what you need to know about the surge, broken down into three key facts.

1) There really was a spike in murders in 2020.

Data from the FBI, the Council on Criminal Justice, and crime analyst Jeff Asher show that the murder rate surged by upward of 25 percent in 2020. Violent crime, in general, rose as well, though not as much as murders, with aggravated assaults and shootings up. But nonviolent crimes, such as those involving drugs or theft, fell — leading to an overall decrease of crime even as violent crime and murders rose.

The murder increase essentially set the US back decades on crime reduction efforts, putting total murders back at the levels of the 1990s

Continued: Source Vox