Covid-19 Wasn’t the Only Killer in 2020

Killings in the US were up a historic 30% last year, a scourge driven by guns, according to the FBI’s annual crime statistics released Monday.

  • It was the biggest jump since 1960, when the government began gathering such numbers, The Trace reports.

Another disturbing record: 77% of 2020 murders involved a firearm, the highest percentage ever recorded.
Driving the rise: A combination of the pandemic and a “police legitimacy crisis” spurred by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, The Washington Post reports.

  • Crime overall, however, is still well below the historic highs of the 1990s.

New data system: Starting next year, the FBI will change how it collects these numbers, and the process looks poised for growing pains. Many law enforcement agencies haven’t yet provided data that conforms with the new system. 
“It’s a little bit like cleaning out your garage — first you put a lot of stuff on the lawn, so it looks worse before it looks better,” said Mitch Beemer of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Related: Firearm Relinquishment Laws Associated With Substantial Reduction In Homicide Of Pregnant And Postpartum Women – Health Affairs

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