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After violent 2020, murder rate increases nationwide again in 2021

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Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Murders rose across twenty-two major American cities 5% from 2020 to 2021; from 2019 to 2021, murders increased by 44%, according to a report from Fox News.

The Council of Criminal Justice (CCJ) reported that in 2021 there were 218 more murders than in 2020 and roughly 1,300 more murders than in 2019.

The CCJ’s report aggregates crime statistics from twenty-two major American cities, including Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California; and Louisville, Kentucky.

Noting that the increase from 2020 to 2021 was only a single digit, Thomas Abt, a CCJ senior fellow, said, “While it is encouraging to see a slowdown in the recent homicide increase, the bloodshed continues, and at least 10 U.S. cities lost historic numbers of residents to murder last year.”

Fox News reported in December of 2021 that at least 16 U.S. cities set new homicide records. These include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Louisville, Kentucky; Macon, Georgia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Haven, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; St. Paul, Minnesota; and, Tucson, Arizona.

Notably, Atlanta, Georgia, experienced a 30-year high in murders.

The CCJ reported that aggravated assaults increased by 4% and gun assaults increased by 8% from 2020 to 2021, while rates of burglary, larceny, and drug offenses decreased. Incidents of domestic violence also increased by 4%.

Noting that violent crime continues to increase throughout the country, the CCJ said, “In response to continuing increases in homicide and serious assaults, the authors [of this report] conclude that police and policymakers should pursue violence-prevention strategies of proven effectiveness and enact needed policing reforms to achieving durable reductions in violent crime in our cities.”

Whereas homicide is a more noticeable form of death, there are still thousands of Americans dying from silent “deaths of despair” such as drug overdose.

Despite murder rates continuing to increase, the number one killer of Americans aged 18-45 this past year was the synthetic opioid fentanyl. According to an analysis of CDC data conducted by the nonprofit Families Against Fentanyl, there were nearly 79,000 Americans killed by fentanyl in 2020 and 2021. 37,208 died from overdose in 2020, and 41,587 died in 2021.

Fentanyl-related deaths have nearly doubled in all age demographics from 2019 to 2021. The synthetic opioid flows into the country through America’s southern border as drug trafficking increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Law enforcement officials confiscated twice as much fentanyl at the southern border during 2021 than in 2020.

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