America’s worrying rise in homicides is being felt most acutely in Kansas City, Detroit and St. Louis, says a study that blames soft-on-crime policies and efforts to punish police on a nationwide increase in the number of murders.
Researchers found that Kansas City, Missouri, saw its strongest increase from July to September this year, when there were 15 homicides for every 100,000 people, compared with the same periods in the previous two years.
The crime problem was on display again this week, as police opened murder investigations after two people were found dead in an apartment in the Santa Fe Hills neighborhood and another woman was found dead from gunshot wounds in her car.
Rounding out the top five homicide cases were Detroit, Michigan, St. Louis, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Denver, Colorado, was the top performer of the 50 major cities in the study.
It’s because public safety and law and order remain important issues for voters in November’s midterm elections, and soft-on-crime policies and calls to relieve the police could hurt Democrats in some crime-ridden cities.
America’s Homicide Hotspots REVEALED:
Police are gathering evidence at the scene of a January 2020 nightclub shooting in Kansas City, which has the fastest-rising murder rate in the country, according to a new study.
Christopher Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University in Florida, said the crime spike from 2020 was linked to the pandemic and unrest over the George Floyd murder in May of that year.
“The widespread delegitimization of policing by the political left…had a predictably negative effect on policing,” said Ferguson, one of the experts mentioned in the article. study by financial website WalletHub.
“Police became more reluctant to get involved in high-crime areas, whereas those in low-income neighborhoods became wary of the police and cooperated less with them.”
Floyd’s murder sparked nationwide racial protests and calls from activists and some left-wing politicians to “discover” the police, but that quickly changed when the police shut down, troops struggled to recruit and crime rates began to rise.
A police officer walks past an evidence marker near the site of a fatal shooting in June 2021, in the Greater Ville borough of north St. Louis, which has the third fastest-rising murder rate in the country, according to a new study. has been detected.
When President Joe Biden unveiled his plan for a safer America in July, he called to “fund” the police, with a central request for nearly $13 billion to hire 100,000 police officers across the country over the next five years.
Still, crime rates are a priority for millions of voters, giving Republicans ammunition to use against “soft-on-crime” Democrats in a barrage of television ads ahead of the midterm elections that will determine which party controls Congress.
Researchers used the homicide rates for 50 major cities from July to September and compared the numbers to the same periods in the previous two years. They used local crime data and information from the US Census Bureau.
A city’s overall score determined its position in the ranking.
Denver, Colorado, had the best score of all cities measured, thanks to declining homicide rates over the past two years. Chesapeake, Virginia, Madison, Wisconsin, Arlington, Texas and St. Petersburg, Florida also scored well.
Nationwide, cities with Democratic mayors registered higher homicide rates than Republican-led governments.
Tristin Kilgallon, a history and law scholar at the Ohio University of Findlay, blamed low police morale and “bail reform” initiatives that see violent criminals back on the streets instead of being prosecuted.
“Police officers’ morale should be improved and officers should feel free to perform their duties without fear of being targeted by the media and politicians for any alleged wrongdoing, real or imagined,” Kilgallon said.
Scholars have blamed the rising homicide rate in some cities on efforts to cut police funding after George Floyd’s death, such as at this June 2020 gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Others blame the pandemic and rising gun sales
Michael Rocque, a sociology professor at Bates College in Maine, said it remained unclear why crime and violence declined in the early 1990s and well into the 2000s, and then started to increase again.
“Part of the spike in homicides, I’d say, is regression to the mean,” Rocque said.
“We know that gun sales have increased significantly in recent years, and gun availability in the US has been linked to homicide.”
WalletHub researchers described a 10 percent increase in homicide rates in the country’s 50 largest cities and warned that rates are “still rising.” However, other studies have yielded different results.
Murders were down 2.4 percent and rapes by 5 percent in the first six months of 2022, but total violent crimes rose 4.2 percent, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which covers dozens of troops in North America.
The FBI’s national crime tracking system this month reported an estimated 4.3 percent increase in homicides in 2021 and a negligible 1 percent drop in overall violent crime — but data from key cities like New York and Los Angeles was missing.
RANKED: America’s Safest and Most Dangerous Cities
Columbia, Maryland, was recently ranked as the safest city in America, and St. Louis, Missouri, as the most dangerous, in a survey measuring everything from the threat of wildfires to the number of uninsured drivers on the road.
The WalletHub study assessed 182 major cities on 42 security metrics — broadly including crime rates, natural disasters, Covid-19 vaccination rates, and economic indicators such as unemployment and homelessness.
At the top of the list was Columbia, Maryland, a suburban area between Washington DC and Baltimore that is home to some 100,000 people and often scores well for quality of life, opportunity, and relatively low crime rates.
Voters blame ‘awakened politicians’ for crime-ridden cities: poll
Two-thirds of voters say crime is on the rise and blame ‘awakened politicians’ for the phenomena, including a majority of Democrats, says a poll suggesting law and order will benefit Republicans in the meantime next month .
About 66 percent of voters said they thought crime was on the rise, while 64 percent said the apparent increase was the “fault of awake politicians,” according to a Harvard-Harris opinion poll released a few weeks before the November 8 midterm elections.
While three-quarters of Republicans blamed “awake politicians,” some 52 percent of Democrats said the same — the latest indicator that crime, along with inflation and immigration, could boost Republican candidates.
Crime rates rose during the pandemic but appear to be leveling off.