The Oklahoman

FBI: Murders throughout US surged in 2020

- Kevin Johnson

The FBI reported a nearly 30% increase in murders in 2020, the largest single-year jump since the bureau began recording crime statistics six decades ago.

The surge in killings drove an overall 5% increase in violent crime last year, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

Violence stalked most major cities, the report found, even as the coronaviru­s pandemic exacted its own deadly toll across the country.

The amount of homicides last year – 21,570 – did not surpass some stunning totals in the early 1990s, including the nearly 25,000 murders in 1991.

The numbers are also an incomplete assessment, since 15,897 of the eligible 18,619 law enforcemen­t agencies submitted data to the FBI last year.

“Last year was unique in many ways,” said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminolog­y at Northeaste­rn University. “Because of the pandemic, people were not in structured activities. ... The whole country was divided by politics, the response to the coronaviru­s and the social justice movement.”

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