How bad is the rise in US homicides? Fact-checking the ‘crime wave’ narrative police are pushing

This article makes a pretty strong case that the supposed “crime wave” we are now experiencing is limited to homicide as opposed to crime generally. Some types of crimes are actually declining. And the rise in homicides is directly traceable to the economic, social, and psychological effects of the pandemic, lockdowns, and resulting economic dislocations. Police statists are attempting to weaponize anti-crime rhetoric as a means of preventing legal/police reform from taking place. The only real criticism I would have of this article is the predictable anti-gun framework.

There’s been a wave of media coverage this summer about an increase in homicides across the United States, with attention often focused on the same political question: will Americans still want to defund or even reform the police if “violent crime” is on the rise?

Anxiety about violent crime is often used to win elections. Police and politicians routinely share misleading, out-of-context crime statistics to advance their agendas. Fearmongering about rising crime has also been used for decades to undermine Black Americans’ protests for civil rights. So it’s important to ask: is this homicide increase actually significant? And how much evidence is there for any of the explanations about why killings are going up?


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