Sick Contest Promises ‘Sweet Swag’ For Predicting City’s Murder Rate — Where Black People Account For Over 80% Of Victims

(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Philadelphia Weekly announced a contest Tuesday, inviting readers to predict the city’s 2021 murder rate and win some “sweet swag.”

The publication noted that murders were up 40% over 2020 in the City of Brotherly Love, with 198 homicide victims year-to-date.

“Guess the murders, win a prize,” the page reads. The contest, which will remain open for entries until the end of May, encouraged readers to guess what the murder rate might be by the time the city elects a new district attorney on Nov. 2. (RELATED: Cities That Pushed For Defunding The Police Reckon With Record-High Crime Rates)

What do you think the city’s murder tally will be on Nov. 2, General Election day? Send your best guess to We’ll keep track of all of the entries and send the winner (whoever comes closest to the right number) some sweet swag.

Philadelphia had a record breaking year for homicides in 2020, with an annual total of 499. Of those, 33 were minors and 11 were under 11 years of age. 40 victims were women —  and 86% of the total number of homicide victims were black.

In addition to reaching record numbers, the majority of homicides in Philadelphia went unsolved. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting, the Philadelphia Police Department had a homicide clearance rate of 42.3% in 2020. That marked a sharp decrease from 52.4% in 2019 and left the city well below the national average homicide clearance rate of 61.4%.

Police data revealed that non-fatal shootings also disproportionately affected black Philadelphians — who accounted for 84% of 2,236 shooting victims in 2020.

An archived version of the page can be viewed here.