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Homicides in major U.S. and Canadian cities have increased 50% and aggravated assaults have risen 39% between January and June since the same time period in 2019, according to data released Friday by the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).
Homicides have fallen slightly in comparison to last year. 4,511 were reported in major U.S. towns between January-June, as opposed to 4,626 between January-2021. More than 156,700 cases of aggravating assaults were reported in this time frame, compared with more that 152,000.
“What we’ve noticed is that COVID changed the matrix once it started,” Laura Cooper, Executive Director of MCCA, told Fox News Digital. “We don’t want to be in a position to say, well … violent crime maybe isn’t that high. It’s a lot higher than it was before COVID began. That’s why we’ve gone back and we’re comparing data that we have now — even data that we had last year — to 2019 numbers.”
MCCA gathered data directly in 70 U.S. and nine Canadian cities.
Cooper said that the data as well as statements made by chiefs of these cities to Cooper, showed that “the numbers were surprising and not surprising”. Cooper said that the numbers were “shocking” because they are so poor and “a true reflection” of what she’s been witnessing in the media and within the city law enforcement agencies.
Is there a reason for the steady rise in 2019?
“I believe the anti-law-enforcement sentiments that we witnessed play out, especially in 2020, did contribute to this, but I think it’s more granular than that. Access to firearms and the amount of guns that are on the street … can be directly correlated to the amount of homicides we have, especially compared to 2019,” Cooper said.
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MCCA also released its “The State of Gun Violence in America’s Major Cities August 2022” report on Friday, which notes that the United States saw the highest firearm homicide rate in more than 25 years in 2020, with 79% of all homicides that year involving a firearm — representing a 35% increased year-over-year since 2019.
According to the report, firearm homicides have increased in urban and suburban areas. However, Black American men aged between 10 and 44 years were the most affected by the rising firearm homicide rate.
MCCA also reported an increased number of firearms taken from cars in major cities. The Nashville Police Department, for example, reported 1,259 guns stolen out of vehicles in 2021, representing more than 70% of the 1,789 guns stolen from Nashville residents in total that year.
“Whether the guns are in an unlocked vehicle or if they are broken into … it’s pretty astounding the numbers that we cited of guns that have been stolen out of vehicles.” Cooper stated. Cooper said, “People should be held to a higher standard in order to be responsible gun-owners.”
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The organization also noted a sizable increase in the number of ghost guns — or guns that are made illegally by unlicensed manufacturers or with 3D printers and have no serial numbers — being recovered off the streets in major cities.
As a result of increasing firearm numbers and firearm homicides, Cooper says communities — especially juveniles — are becoming desensitized to violent crime and shootings.
Victims of gun crimes and witnesses can both experience trauma from shots. If left untreated, it can cause desensitization to violence, shootings, or even death.
Cooper stated, “We were trying to emphasize the fact that gun violence doesn’t just concern the trigger puller or the person they shoot.” “It has negative impacts on the community, and it reverberates much further than that. Security is an important factor.
More often, law enforcement agencies are trying to approach violence cases with a trauma-based approach.
“When homicide detectives go out to the scene, it’s not just them looking exactly at what happened with that … trigger puller and victim. Cooper stated that it’s more of an integrated look. Cooper said that many times, the children that were there witnessed this. [a shooting]They are then desensitized. They may be desensitized by the violence they see every day and become accustomed to it.
Cooper stated that there has been “noticeable changes in respecting the sacredness of life”. He believes this trend should be investigated further by law enforcement and academia.
She explained that “it is definitely something that is happening on the streets, where people can spray people with bullets in an indiscriminate manner, and people don’t think there’s anything wrong or that it’s a better method to start conflict.” “That is a shocking thing in itself. That’s a significant change I believe, starting in 2019.
District attorneys and judges
Urban judges and district attorneys have been implementing policies in recent years to reduce prison populations in the United States. However, this policy can allow repeat offenders to go back to crime after being arrested for prior crimes.
Cooper called some of these policies “a complete disservice for” communities.
“Cities …are dealing with district attorneys and charging decisions and judges who are really just not holding career criminals accountable,” Cooper explained. Cooper explained that there is a cyclical nature to what we are seeing. People can go in and out of one door, and then go back in the other. They aren’t being held accountable the way they should.
Cooper stated that violence is about the consequences.
She stated that “there’s not much deterrence at certain places that would make someone stop before pulling the trigger. That’s especially concerning when we’re talking youth violence and the number of juveniles involved in some pretty horrific and violent crimes.”
Every city has a different approach to violent crime. Cooper, however, used Dallas as an example when Cooper asked him what solutions law enforcement agencies and communities could consider to tackle the problem.
Dallas, she stated, has partnered to criminologists who “broke up the city into grids” so that they can focus on the “worst and most dangerous” areas in terms of violent crimes. Police recognize that the old policing methods are outdated and are now more focused on smart policing and strategic enforcement to target the most dangerous criminals.
She said, “You can’t arrest yourself out of this problem.”
Source: Fox News