At the end of 2020, police in the city of Chicago reported more than 750 murders, a jump of more than 50% compared with 2019. In December 2020, Los Angeles reported a 30% increase over the previous year with 322 homicides. In New York City, the city reported 437 homicides by Dec. 20, nearly 40% more than the previous year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York has told reporters that the rise was related, in part, to the coronavirus pandemic and "to the fact that people are cooped up."
But large cities aren't the only parts of the U.S. seeing rises in homicides. Increases in homicides are spiking in areas around the country. One such example is Ashville, North Carolina, which, according to a study by 24/7 Wall St., is in the top 10% of most violent cities in the U.S. after reviewing FBI crime data for 4,548 cities with more than 5,000 people in 2019.
New Orleans-based data consultant Jeff Asher who studies crime rates told NPR, "We're going to see, historically, the largest one-year rise in murder that we've ever seen." He said it has been more than half a century since the U.S. saw year-to-year murder rates jump approximately 13%. He also told NPR, "We have good data that the rise in murder was happening in the early stages of the pandemic. We have good data that the rise in murder picked up in the early stages of the summer, and we also have good data that the rise of murder picked up again in September and October as some of the financial assistance started to wear off."