Homicides Jumped In Cities Across The Country Last Year

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Sixteen of the 20 largest police departments in the country reported increases in homicides during 2016 for the first time in nearly a decade.

The total number of homicides in Chicago exceeded figures in New York City and Los Angeles — combined. The city saw nearly 800 homicides over the course of the last year. Preliminary data also suggests year-over-year increases in robberies, rapes, non-fatal shootings and assaults.

The cities with the largest increases in homicide include San Antonio, Texas, Chicago, Ill., Phoenix, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn. Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., saw drops in homicide. (RELATED: Adnan Syed Of ‘Serial’ Isn’t Going Home Yet Despite Retrial)

Writing in October for FiveThirtyEight, Jeff Asher argued the early data suggests that the increase in homicides nationally appears concentrated to a handful of cities, while other large cities saw substantial decreases in homicide. He wrote:

So far, the 2016 increase appears far more concentrated in just a few big cities. Chicago, in particular, has seen a dramatic rise in the number of murders; through early October, the city had seen 536 murders, up from 378 at the same time a year ago, a 42 percent increase. Orlando has also seen a big jump in murders, due largely to the Pulse nightclub attack that killed 49 people in June. Together, Chicago and Orlando account for close to half of the net increase in murders in cities for which data is available.

Asher also notes one should not make conclusions about national trends based on this data, as big cities “tend to exaggerate national rises.”

New York City, for its part, saw an overall drop in crime.

Police deaths increased in 2016. There were 135 officer fatalities in 2016, a 10 percent increase over the 123 who died in the line of duty last year, and is the highest total since 2011.

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