by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, June 1 (Xinhua) – Violent crime in U.S. cities rose to record levels as the nation was battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts said deteriorating security could affect the midterm elections next year.
Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that the murder rate rose by 25% in 2020, the first time the United States has recorded more than 20,000 murders annually since 1995, up from 16,000 a year previous.
This occurred in major cities in the country and shows no signs of declining.
The New York City Police Department reported in early May that gunfire increased 166 percent in April, compared to the same period last year.
In Chicago, homicides increased 50 percent between 2019 and 2020, most of the victims were people of color, according to the Cook County Medical Examiners Office.
Homicides increased in the state of California in the United States by 27% between 2019 and 2020, the largest one-year rise in 30 years, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Car attacks, when an assailant forces a driver of a car with a gun and steals the car, have suddenly become a major problem in Washington DC, the country’s capital. The latest data from DC police show that more than 200 car attacks were reported in DC and the surrounding counties between January and April this year. This represents a massive increase from the 60 vehicle attacks reported in 2020 in the same period.
Linda Scott, a housewife outside the DC area, told Xinhua, “I tell visiting friends not to drive through DC,” she said.
Rhonda Kim, in a business direction outside of DC, told Xinhua that she “refuses” to enter DC at night.
According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, Asian hate crimes have increased 146% in 26 of the largest jurisdictions in the United States in 2020. Experts said that s ‘accelerate.
The mayors of many of the most violent cities are Democrats and experts said this could hurt the party ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
“The rise in violent crime is not helping Democratic mayors,” said Darrell West, a senior member of the Brookings Institution.
“It highlights a breakdown of the law that has occurred during COVID and the financial challenges that people have had. Republicans are starting to use this issue against (U.S. President Joe) Biden and will continue to do so as long as the figures remain high “. West said.
Republican strategist and television news personality Ford O’Connell said, “This is a real problem for Democrats run in the medium term,” which are scheduled for next year.
In fact, the midterm elections are historically won by the non-White House party, and the growing crime in U.S. cities adds to the problems of Democrats, experts said.
Republican lawmakers in major U.S. cities, such as Atlanta in the U.S. state of Georgia, are already taking advantage of the rise in murders. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr last month promised to “fill the gap created by the lack of leadership from Atlanta officials.”
Although U.S. President Joe Biden was known during the 1990s to be tough on crime, some Democrats fear voters will stop forming that association. Rather, they worry that voters may believe the Republican narrative that the entire party, not just the left wing, wants to fund the police.
“Can Republican candidates exploit the issue? Yes, they will. Can they make it the main winning issue in the election? In some races for mayor may they be able to. Will it work as a national issue? They and (the ‘ former U.S. President Donald) Trump got some mileage in 2020, but not enough. They would need the problem to continue to grow, “said Clay Ramsay, a researcher at the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies. .
WHAT IS BEHIND THE VIOLENCE?
Republicans and law enforcement said the rise in violence must dismantle police movements across the country, which have demoralized law enforcement. The movement began to gain strength last year after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by police.
John, a police officer in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, told Xinhua that criminals have become emboldened, as police are now less motivated to react to all cases of violence unless it is something important. .
The agent did not provide his last name as he is not allowed to speak to the media.
In a U.S. opinion piece on Tuesday, Jason Johnson, a former deputy police commissioner for the U.S. city of Baltimore and chairman of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, argued that “growing hostility of public officials to the police left law enforcement demoralized, weakened and, in some cases, unfunded. “
“Even the most dedicated officers, who are now at greater risk of being sued, fired, or prosecuted for doing their job, feel pressure to retire,” Johnson said.
“To mitigate this risk, police take a more passive approach,” Johnson argued.
Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at Princeton University and a crime expert, told Atlantic Monthly in a recent interview that in areas where institutions break down, people feel lonely, and this creates conditions in which violence becomes most likely.
“Last year the daily life patterns were broken … The schools were closed. The young people were alone. There was a general feeling of crisis … This kind of destabilization is what creates the conditions for it to appear. violence “. Sharkey discussed.