Five major U.S. cities are currently on pace to break their homicide totals from last year, continuing a violent trend that started in 2020.
Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Atlanta have all seen homicide numbers outpace their mark from 2021 halfway through this year, with Milwaukee seeing the largest spike of the group, according to crime data reviewed by Fox News. Wisconsin's largest city has recorded 96 homicides as of June 17 compared to 77 at this time a year ago, a 24.7% increase.
The numbers continue a trend that has plagued the country since 2020, when homicides in the U.S. increased nearly 30% compared to 2019. That trend continued last year, with the Council on Criminal Justice statistics showing homicides across the county in 2021 increased 5% over 2020.
The nation's capital has been another victim of the trend in 2022, recording 93 homicides as of June 17 compared to 82 at this point a year ago, a 13.4% increase. Atlanta's increasing rate came in just behind Washington D.C., with homicides as of June 11 coming in at 68 compared to 60 at the same point in 2021, a 13.3% increase. Baltimore (7.7%) and Los Angeles (7.3%) have also seen increased over last year, recording 153 and 162 homicides respectively, an increase over 2021's year-to-date totals of 142 and 151.
Experts warn that crime tends to surge in the summer, giving major cities little hope of slowing down the rising trend.
Debate on the cause of the recent spike in crime has raged since 2020, with many experts blaming the pandemic and accompanying closures, restrictions, and isolation for a spike in crime. Others have pointed to the "Ferguson effect" or more recent "Minneapolis Effect" for the increases, which resulted in less active policing during times of increasing crime.
"Violent-crime increase—call it Ferguson Effect 2.0 or the Minneapolis Effect— has come on with a speed and magnitude that make Ferguson 1.0 seem tranquil," the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald said during 2020's crime wave. "George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May was justly condemned — but the event has now spurred an outpouring of contempt against the pillars of law and order that has no precedent in American history."