Violent crimes are on the rise in major cities across the country this year following 2020's already skyrocketing national murder spike that bled into the following year.
Fox News Digital examined crime data from Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and found violent crimes have increased anywhere from nearly 5% to up to 40% compared to the same time frame in 2021. Violent crimes are typically defined as reports of rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault and murder.
Violent crimes have reached unprecedented numbers in the last two years, with murders increasing by nearly 30% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to FBI data. By 2021, homicides continued to rise in major American cities across the country, with the Council on Criminal Justice releasing data in January showing a 5% increase in homicides compared to 2020’s wildly bloody year.
New York City has so far seen the largest increase in violent crimes out of the cities reviewed by Fox News, with a 40.6% increase compared to 2021. The city has recorded 43,244 violent crime incidents since May 15, compared to 2021’s 30,754 recorded during the same timeframe.
Though violent crime is up in the city, data show murders and shooting incidents have ticked down compared to 2021. There have been 150 murders in the city as of May 15, compared to 170 last year. Shooting incidents have decreased by 7.6% in the city this year, at 447 compared to 484 this time last year.
Chicago shows similar data detailing an increase in violent crimes as of May 8 compared to 2021 during the same timeframe, but fewer homicides and shooting incidents. There have been 17,597 reports of violent crimes in the city from the start of the year to this month, which is a 35% increase compared to last year’s 13,026 violent crimes during the same time period.
Chicago has recorded 194 homicides as of May 8 compared to 207 in 2021 during the same timeframe. Shooting incidents in Chicago have also ticked down by 13% compared to 2021, with 779 shooting incidents recorded this year.
Violent crimes skyrocketed across the country in 2020 as social justice protests and riots ignited following the death of George Floyd. The protests that summer came at a time when the coronavirus and lockdowns upended society in unprecedented ways.
Some experts have pinned the cause of the crime spikes in 2020 on the coronavirus and warned about it at the beginning of the pandemic. Though others have pointed to the Ferguson effect - when police pull back during times of increased crime - as well as the Black Lives Matter movement and defund the police protests.
2020’s "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 wrote during the crime spike that year in 2020. "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."
Data from other cities reviewed by Fox News show that not only have violent crimes ticked up in 2022, but so have murders or homicides as well as shooting incidents.
Violent crimes in Seattle have shot up by 23% so far this year, with 1,815 incidents recorded as of April 30, compared to 1,474 recorded during the same timeframe last year. Homicides have increased by more than 54% compared to 2021, while citywide shootings and shots fired increased by 82% at 237 incidents recorded.
Los Angeles has also seen crimes rise in all three categories as of May 7. Violent crimes shot up by 6.7% so far this year, with 10,484 reports recorded. Instances of homicides increased by 1.6%, with 130 homicides recorded, and shoots fired increased by 1.5%, at 1,172 instances.
More of the same has unfolded in Baltimore. Violent crimes have increased by 8% compared to 2021, with 3,068 incidents recorded as of May 7. Homicides are up by 5% so far this year and non-fatal shootings have increased by 14%.
While in Washington, D.C., total violent crimes have increased by 21% as of May 16 compared to 2021, and homicides increased by 4% with 72 recorded so far this year. Data on city shootings was not available.
Philadelphia kicked off the year by outpacing 2021’s historically bloody records but has since seen a 15% decrease in homicides as of May 15 compared to the same timeframe last year. Violent crimes have meanwhile increased by 4.7% compared to 2021 and a 2.2% increase in shootings so far this year.
Just in the last week, the U.S. was rocked by three shootings that claimed at least 11 lives. Ten people were killed in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store shooting carried out by a self-described White supremacist on Saturday. One man was fatally shot and five others injured at a Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in California on Sunday by a Chinese immigrant "upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan," according to local authorities. While 17 people were injured during a shooting in Milwaukee following a Bucks basketball game on Friday night.
Crime often surges during the summer, and the White House is bracing for an anticipated crime wave in the coming months. President Biden called on city and other local leaders Friday to use funds from the American Rescue Plan to beef up police departments immediately.
"Use these funds we made available to you to prioritize public safety," he said. "Do it quickly, before the summer, when crime rates typically surge. Taking action today is going to save lives tomorrow. So, use the money. Hire the police officers. Build up your emergency response systems. Invest in proven solutions."