Aug 02, 2020
Are US cities seeing a surge in violent crime as Trump claims?
This news has been received from: BBC
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President Donald Trump has said US cities are seeing a spike in crime, as he sends in federal law enforcement agents to tackle the situation.
He has denounced a string of Democrat-run cities which are "plagued by violent crime".GETTYNew York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and all of these - Oakland is a mess. We’re not going to let this happen in our country.Donald Trump
We've looked at violent crime, and found it's down overall in many cities, but murders have risen sharply in some.Violent crime continues to fall
In many major US cities, including Chicago and New York, violent crime overall is down compared with the same time last year.
Various cities define violent crime in slightly different ways, but it usually includes murder, robbery, assault and rape.Comparing violent crime rates to this time last yearData up to 26 JulySource: New York Police Department & Chicago Police Department
Individual years can fluctuate but violent crime across America has been on a downward trend since the 1990s.
A study by the New York Times found violent crime from the start of this year through to the beginning of June was down 2% across 25 large American cities, compared with the same period in 2019.Violent crime 2000-20192019 estimatesSource: FBI, Chicago Police Department, New York Police Department
In April and May, violent crime in many US cities declined significantly compared with previous years, due in part to coronavirus lockdown measures.
But President Trump has pointed to a string of murders in certain cities, and homicides in contrast have increased sharply in some areas.Where have murders risen?
A review of data from 27 American cities found that Chicago led the way as homicides surged through to the end of June.
The president has sent more than 100 federal agents to help local law enforcement in Chicago.
As of 26 July, murders are up more than a 50% from this time last year.Murders in Chicago
Compared with July of previous yearsData up to 26 JulySource: Chicago Police Department
President Trump has proposed expanding the deployment of federal law enforcement to the north-eastern cities of New York and Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is seeing a spike in murders, while reports of other violent crimes have declined.Murders in Philadelphia
Compared with July of previous yearsData up to 30 JulySource: Philadelphia Police Department
It's a similar trend in New York, as although rapes and robberies are down, the murder rate is up more than 50% compared with the same point in 2019.
New York's murder rate has decreased significantly since the 1990s, but June saw the most shootings in a single month since 1996, according to the New York Police Department.Murders are down elsewhere
Albuquerque, New Mexico, is another city President Trump has sent dozens of federal agents into, but murders have fallen compared with previous years.
The police chief in the city has said: "Contrary to claims by politicians in Washington DC, Albuquerque has been keeping overall violent crime flat and has reduced homicides thus far this year."Murders in Albuquerque
Compared with July of preivous yearsData up to 27 JulySource: Albuquerque Police Department
Murders in Albuquerque, a city of more than half a million people, have dropped to 38 compared with 44 at the same point in the previous two years.
Other cities earmarked by President Trump have also seen mixed trends. Murders are down in Baltimore, steady in Oakland, but up in Detroit compared with this time last year.Why are some cities seeing a spike in murders?
It's hard to put it down to one reason.
Crime often rises in the summer due to a combination of reasons, such as no school and more outdoor activity.
Richard Rosenfield, an American criminologist, says: "Typically as weather warms up, we see an increase in street crime, including homicides."
This summer has also seen people re-emerging from lockdowns in various states.Image copyright Getty Images
The mayor of Chicago has put the rise in murders down in part to a "perfect storm" created by coronavirus, and the mayor of New York says the spike has been fuelled by "horrible dislocation" caused by the pandemic.
The ongoing pandemic has had widespread implications, including for law enforcement.
Many courts in the US have been closed, and some offenders have been released to stop the spread of coronavirus. That has led "to a feeling among offenders that they can commit crimes with impunity", according to a report by the Police Executive Research Forum.
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News Source: BBC
Back-To-Back Deployments for Minnesota National Guard Unit
STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — One of the first Minnesota National Guard units to respond to unrest following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis is headed out on a new mission.
The 34th Military Police Company, based in Stillwater, is deploying on a yearlong mission to provide security at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. A send-off ceremony Sunday at the Stillwater armory was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Company commander Capt. Troy Davidson said while the unit has had a year to prepare for the Guantanamo Bay deployment, it had just hours to respond to the unrest over Floyd's death. The unit went right back to training for Guantanamo Bay after it served in the Twin Cities.
The back-to-back deployments were emotional for many of the families at Sunday’s event, the Star Tribune reported.
“Knowing for a year that he’s leaving, that’s hard,” Kristy Stauffer said of the deployment of her husband, Staff Sgt. Fred Stauffer. “But I was more scared for him during the state active duty than I was for his last deployment because of the constant news coverage and it was at home. There’s something to be said about feeling safe at home, and while it wasn’t in Cottage Grove, it was still very close to home.”
More than 7,000 soldiers across the state were deployed to the Twin Cities after Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, died May 25 after he was restrained by police. A white officer held his knee to the neck of Floyd, who begged for air until he became motionless.
Gov. Tim Walz described the guard's deployment to deal with the protests and violence that followed Floyd's death the first full mobilization of the Guard since World War II and the largest deployment in state history.
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