Murder Rate Surges In Major U.S. Cities


Major cities across the U.S. are seeing increases in homicide rates, with much of the violence centered in poor African American and Latino communities.

According to a report in USA Today, during the first half of this year the murder rates in a number of cities are exceeding those logged during the first half of 2014.

For example, this year Milwaukee has more than doubled its number of murders, with 84 compared to last year’s 41. Chicago has seen an increase from 171 last year to 203 this year.

Notably the two areas that saw uprisings following police-involved deaths of unarmed black men St. Louis and Baltimore, also saw spikes. Baltimore the first half of the year has experienced 155 murders compared to 105 last year. St. Louis has had 93 murders this year compared with 58 in the same timeframe last year.

St. Louis Police Chef Sam Dotson said that he’s increasingly looking to federal authorities to get involved in cases in the city in the hopes of spurring witnesses to come forward. St. Louis Police and several federal agencies also plan to announce a new partnership next week aimed at reducing the violence in the city.

Other cities like New Orleans also saw increases. So far this year the Big Easy has seen 98 murders compared with 72 at the same time last year. New York City increased from 72 to 98, Washington, D.C. increased 62 to 73, San Antonio 43 to 53, and Dallas 53 to 68. The first quarter of the year Houston — which has not released the rest of the year’s data — increased 46 to 73.

Whether gang violence, policing issues, drug violence, illegal immigration, the end of policies like stop and frisk in New York City, or otherwise the increase has caught people’s attention.

Meanwhile, while some cities have experienced striking murder increases other cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego and Indianapolis, according to USA Today, have actually seen decreases in their number of murders.