Memphis, New Orleans, and Richmond rank as America’s killing hotspots, with scholars linking their increased murder rates to soft Democratic leadership on crime and low police morale.
a Stady By WalletHub, it found that murder rates jumped by a tenth in the country’s largest cities between the first quarter of 2001 and the same period this year — and it’s still on the way up.
William Shaw Jr., 67, has been released, arrested and charged with second-degree murder over the shooting of his uncle in South Memphis this week — the latest in a string of killings in Tennessee’s second-largest city.
Homicide rates have begun to rise in the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers said, and they found that cities led by Democrats are experiencing faster rates of rise than their Republican counterparts.
WalletHub researchers found that murder rates jumped by a tenth in the country’s largest cities between the first quarter of 2001 and the same period this year.
They attributed this to more people buying guns, bail reform efforts, and police avoidance of the mostly black inner-city communities where gang-related killings are concentrated in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.
“The public reaction to the killing of George Floyd is perhaps the first example of this,” said Chidek Okem, a crime expert at Western New England University.
“In reaction to the social unrest, some officers have embraced depolicing, the idea of not engaging in proactive policing practices in order to avoid increased scrutiny and oversight.”
Democratic cities were experiencing faster rates of rise than their Republican counterparts
Okem added that when the cops peter out, “violence spreads”.
The researchers ranked the cities by adding together their homicide rates for the first three months of 2023, and comparing those numbers with the same periods in 2021 and 2022.
Memphis, New Orleans, Richmond, Washington D.C., Detroit, Durham, Dallas. Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Kansas City have been ranked as the worst homicide hotspots in America.
New York ranked 36th and Los Angeles 38th.
Norfolk, Omaha, Atlanta, Fort Worth and Raleigh were at the bottom of the list of major cities hardest hit.
The researchers found that cities with Democratic mayors saw murder rates rise faster than those with a Republican leader.
The police killing of George Floyd and other unarmed black men led to mass protests for racial justice and liberal calls to “disarm the police,” which in turn saw cops avoid high-crime, predominantly black neighborhoods.
Robert Spitzer, a professor at the College of William and Mary Law, said the massacre in America’s largest city showed how “police and policing are indispensable to society.”
The coffin of MSU shooting victim Ariel Anderson is carried from the funeral service in Detroit, in February
Chidike Okeem (left), a crime expert at Western New England University Robert Spitzer, a professor at the College of William and Mary Law, warns of higher rates of homicide in cities
Police officers at the scene of an active shooting attack in Memphis, in September 2022. The second largest city in Tennessee has witnessed a series of murders and other crimes
The number of child gunshot deaths rose from 1,732 to 2,590 — the highest number since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began counting deaths in 1999.
“Although the police have suffered some reputational damage and loss of staff, the increase in crime inevitably causes people to turn to the police for protection, and that helps their reputation,” Spitzer said.
Spitzer and other analysts said a gradual return to normalcy after the pandemic and a restoration of government crime-fighting schemes could lead to lower homicide rates again.
Murder rates are still well below their peak in the crime-ravaged early 1990s.
Perceptions of crime, safety and urban decay are set to be a concern for President Joe Biden, a Democrat, as he seeks re-election in 2024 despite low approval ratings.
With violent crime blighting many major cities, Republicans across the country have pushed for a tough crime agenda that would make it harder for the accused to get out of jail on bail and lock people up longer when convicted of certain crimes.
A separate Pew Research Center study this month found that the number of children and teens shot and killed jumped 50 percent between 2019 and 2021.
This left nearly half of all American parents afraid that the bullet might kill their offspring.
During those two years, the number of childhood gunshot deaths rose from 1,732 to 2,590 — the highest number since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began counting deaths in 1999.
The victims are disproportionately black. African American minors accounted for 46 percent of those deaths in 2021, even though they account for only about 14 percent of the total youth population in the United States.
Other victims were whites (32 percent), Hispanics (17 percent), and Asians (1 percent).
This means that black children and teens were five times more likely to die from a gunshot than their white counterparts.
About 45 percent of parents worry their children will be shot, according to a Pew survey of 3,757 American parents with at least one child under the age of 18, found late last year.
Crisis of child death by gunshots in America. Pictured: Gunshot effects of an eight-month-old, who died after a gun was fired by the victim’s three-year-old brother, in Houston, Texas
New York City was shocked when a gang member opened fire in broad daylight on Harlem Street in 2021, nearly killing two brothers, ages five and 13.