Police Report a Spike in Violence
A survey of four U.S. cities finds that crime and particularly shootings have increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protesting organized by Black Lives Matter. Luke Barr of ABC News reports that data compiled by the Police Executive Research Forum found that during the third week of June 72 people were shot in New York City. An official from the NYPD suggested that the pandemic-related release of inmates from Rikers Island had contributed to the increased violence. “[W]e’re seeing a large uptick of parolees involved on either end of the gun, as either the shooter or the victim,” he said.
The survey also found significant increases in homicides in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and a recent surge in Las Vegas. Police officials in Indianapolis say shootings “blew up” in May, primarily due to drug trafficking. Milwaukee reported 87 homicides this year compared to 37 in 2019, an increase of 132%. Officials there say drugs and domestic violence were the most frequent causes. In Vegas, where casinos have been closed over the last 3 months, violent crime had been slightly lower than last year, then 3 weeks ago there were 11 murders in 10 days. ABC News reports that during the Father’s Day weekend in Chicago there were 102 shootings, killing 14 people, including 5 children, making it the most violent weekend so far this year. And Black Lives Matter wants to disband the police.