Rising crime nationwide fuels midterm elections


(NewsNation) — With midterm elections quickly approaching, the rise in violent crime and lack of public safety have become hot topics, and not just in big cities or with Republican candidates.

The latest stats from the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) showed that crime isn’t just a big city issue, and that three cities have had at least a 27% increase in homicide rates.

San Antonio saw a 27% increase, Milwaukee has seen a 36% increase and New Orleans has seen a 40% jump in homicides year over year, claiming the new title as the murder capital of the nation.

It’s worth noting that of the 70 jurisdictions that report data to the MCCA, 42 saw decreases in homicides over the first half of this year.

But that is not the same story for robberies. Only 18 jurisdictions of the 70 saw a decrease in robberies in the first six months of this year.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Portland, Oregon, have reported the largest increase in robberies since last year. Both of those cities reported a 50% increase in robberies, with New York City reporting only a 40% increase.

According to MCCA, only five cities listed saw decreases across the board in crime. Those cities are Boston, Detroit, Houston, Oklahoma City and Orlando.

The FBI’s new annual crime report released last Wednesday found a 4.3% increase in the total number of murders in 2021, but experts warn the estimate draws on fewer data points than previous years.

Overall, violent crime decreased by about 1% from 2020 to 2021, the report found. Much of that is attributable to an 8.9% decrease in the robbery rate.

But the latest data comes with an important caveat.

“It is important to note that these estimated trends are not considered statistically significant by NIBRS estimation methods,” the FBI said in a press release. “The nonsignificant nature of the observed trends is why, despite these described changes, the overall message is that crime remained consistent.”

The statistics are based on estimates derived from data submitted by local law enforcement agencies but due to changes in the FBI’s reporting system, experts say fewer agencies participated this year.

So far this month, homicide detectives have investigated 13 killings in Indianapolis, compared to seven at this time a year ago when the city was on its way to setting an annual homicide record, 11 on this date in 2020 and six thus far in October of 2019, according to NewsNation affiliate WXIN.

Rev. Charles Harrison, the senior pastor at Barnes United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, said he thinks a lot of the increase in violence is due to a “broken judicial system that does not tend to hold repeat violent felons accountable.”

Harrison said a major concern is that the judicial system keeps putting repeat felons back on the streets, that they become suspects and victims of the violent crimes that are being seen in today’s world.

“And certainly, the proliferation of unlawful guns in the hands of individuals who have no regard for the sanctity of human life is also a major concern that I think is leading the lot to the senseless violence that we’re seeing here in Indianapolis and across the country,” Harrison said.

Harrison believes repeat felons need to be held in jail. He said that those who continually commit violent crimes in the community are seen back on the streets shortly after.

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