Just How Bad Was It Last Year?

No one doubts that there was a murder spike across the United States last year.  To find out how bad it was and where, the following bar graph will be useful.


Bonus Question:  Which of those cities had conservative, law-and-order mayors and city councils?

Bonus Question #2:  The best way to combat the murder surge is (a) go back to the Give Peace A Chance policies of 1965-1990, when murder steadily increased, or (b) go back to the Let’s Get Real policies of 1990-2010, when murder steadily decreased?

Sorry, class, but you only get 30 seconds to take this quiz  —  which is 25 more seconds than you need.


5 Responses

  1. Douglas Berman says:

    Might you share some data on how the murder data changes in cities with “conservative, law-and-order mayors and city councils”?

    I ask because, despite last year’s ugly numbers, a city like Seattle still seems pretty safe compared to many others. Specifically, it seems in Seattle there were, according to this crime dashboard http://www.seattle.gov/police/information-and-data/crime-dashboard, only 37 murders in 2019, only 52 murders in 2020, and in the first four months of 2021 only 7 murders (so a pace for only 21 for the year, although summer months tend to be more violent).

    Meanwhile, in comparably sized in Indianapolis (whose mayor is a former US Attorney), in 2019 there were 172 murders, and in 2020 there were 245 murders. And in 2021, this database reports 59 murders in the first three months in Indy: https://databases.indystar.com/indianapolis-crime-list-of-all-criminal-homicides-in-2021/. So, in Indy, 2021 has already had more murders in 3 months of 2021 than Seattle had in its worst recent year of homicides (2020), and Indy is on pace to have many more murders in two years (2020 and 2021) than Seattle has had in the last decade.

    Or we could compare comparably-sized Fort Worth Texas, which had 112 murders in 2020, or Jacksonville, Florida which had 140. I believe those are similarly sized cities with GOP mayors in GOP dominated states, and both had more murders in 2020 than Seattle has had over the last 3 years.

    I am not at all denying that rising violent crime is a really and an important one to see to address effectively. I am just noting that a lot more seems to be going on beyond just city-level/local crime policies.

    • Bill Otis says:

      “Might you share some data on how the murder data changes in cities with “conservative, law-and-order mayors and city councils”?”

      Be happy to if I run across any. I ran across the chart I put up by looking at a Steve Hayward post, and thought it presented a good, quick picture, which is why I used it. I confess I don’t know of a lot of big cities on the order of NYC, LA, Chicago, Boston, etc. that have law and order mayors or city councils (or low amounts of violent crime).

      Funny you should mention Indianapolis, whose Mayor is Joe Hogsett, former chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party and Obama-appointed USA. Not a real law-and-order type. I first encountered him when he ran against my pal David McIntosh for a House seat in 1994. Unfortunately for Joe, ’94 was a bad year for the Democrats, so David won easily.

      Can’t say I know much about Ft. Worth. Although Texas overall is conservative and Republican, it has its share of outlier cities, e.g., Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The first two are particularly bad, but this is not my area of expertise. In particular, I don’t know if Ft. Forth is one of the few conservative cities.

      But it’s something of a digression. There are always outliers. If you look at big cities overall, almost all of them are run by “reform” or “reform”-friendly liberals, and have been for years; and their murder statistics are dreadful, and have been for years. This might inspire a curmudgeonly person to suspect that the policies could use changing.

  2. Douglas Berman says:

    Well, notably, the states with the highest per capital homicide rates according to the CDC tend to be mostly “red” and relatively rural, with the top 10 being Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico, South Carolina, Missouri, Alaska, Maryland, Arkansas, Tennessee.

    • Bill Otis says:

      Except for Alaska, they’re all warm weather states, and, as you were pointing out, murder correlates with warm weather.

      Alaska is its own story, since you have to be a little crazy to live there, although it’s beautiful (if you’ve ever taken a cruise there).

      • Douglas Berman says:

        Pretty sure Missouri is not a warm weather state, but I would rather focus on our agreements: Alaska is beautiful. The Berman family did the Alaska cruise back in summer 2018. Absolutely wonderful (almost worth killing for)!