Crimes up in US as COVID-19 ravages

In many US areas including Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and even smaller Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Milwaukee, 2020 has been deadly not only because of the pandemic, but because gun violence is spiking.

Iran PressAmerica: Authorities and some experts say there is no one clear-cut reason for the spike. They instead point to social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 virus, public sentiment toward police following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody and a historic shortage of jobs and resources in poorer communities as contributing factors. It's happening in cities large and small, Democrat and Republican-led.

Two years ago, Detroit had 261 homicides — the fewest in decades. The tally has hovered around there with about 786 shootings for a city of more than 672,000, Modernhealthcare newswebsite reported.

But with only a few days left in 2020, homicides already have topped 300, while non-fatal shootings are up more than 50% at more than 1,124 through the middle of December.

Washington, DC, a city of about 700,000, has seen more than 187 homicides this year, eclipsing last year's total by more than 20. Among the most horrible: A 15-month-old baby boy was shot to death during a drive-by shooting.

Crime in parts of the US dropped during the early weeks of the pandemic when stay-at-home orders closed businesses and forced many people to remain indoors.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump claimed spiking crime was somehow related to massive protests over police brutality that swept the nation this year, but the majority of those protests were peaceful. Trump also claimed the crime was concentrated in Democratic-run cities, but there have been spikes in Republican-run cities as well. Federal agents and resources were poured into Detroit and a number of other cities this summer to help local authorities collar the rising crime rates.


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