One of the biggest shock stories of 2020 is how widespread and how dramatic the number of homicides increased all over America. As I was working on this article, news broke that St. Louis, MO experienced their highest murder rate in fifty years. An unbelievable 87 murders per 100,000 residents.
This nationwide surge in murder comes despite the fact that there were major lockdowns across the nation. The New York Times and other allegedly credible media outlets have already blamed the lockdowns for this increase in murders. However, that explanation makes no sense. Most Americans had their activities restricted for months and were coming into contact with fewer other people.
Of course, 2020 also saw city governments all over the country order stand-downs and allow the so-called “Black Lives Matter [BLM]” movement to riot all across the nation. These stand-downs are probably the largest factor contributing to the increase in homicides because they gave people a general feeling that they could commit crimes with impunity. In Seattle, Indianapolis, and Cicero, there were two homicides in each city that occurred during BLM demonstrations. Many other cities had a homicide occur during a BLM demonstration as well.
It is not just large, densely packed urban cities that saw dramatic increases in homicide. Take, for example, Florence, SC.
Florence, SC has a population of 37,056. The year 2016 was a historic low for homicides in the city. There was only one homicide all year. In December of 2020, there were three homicides in a three-day period. The entire county of Florence only has a population of 138,293. In 2019, there were 7 murders in the city of Florence and 20 murders total for the county. This was already unusually high.
On December 21st, Florence, SC city employee Penny Phillips, 49, was attacked and savagely stabbed near the Northwest Park Community Center where she worked. She died in the hospital later that day. Jawan Kavorie Crittenden, 18, has been arrested and charged with her murder.
This stabbing death was part of a string of violence in Florence all occurring near the same part of the city.
On December 18th, Lamonte McAllister was shot and killed less than a half-mile from the park. Terrelle Rashon Bailey, 26, and Chicago Dangelo Dixon, 24, have been charged with his murder. Terrelle Rashon Baily had already been charged with the murder of Renardo Davis in Darlington, SC in 2019. He was out on bond when he allegedly murdered Lamonte McAllister.
Also, on December 18th, Fernando McCall Ford was stabbed to death about three miles away from the murder of McAllister. Leroy Speights, 70, has been charged with his murder.
Florence saw more homicides in this three-day period than in many recent years, including 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Because this is not a densely populated area, there is no official data yet. However, just doing searches on Google News, I found TEN homicides that occurred in Florence in 2020. One of these homicides was a police officer who was murdered when he pulled someone over at the local airport. I also found another homicide that occurred immediately outside of the city limits. Ten homicides is a 43% increase over 2019 and could be an all-time high for the city. Ten is the same number of homicides that occurred during a four-year period between 2010 and 2013. It is one more than the total number of homicides that occurred during the four-year period between 2013 and 2016.
For decades, homicide rates were declining in the USA. A common explanation for this was the legalization of abortion and how it has caused a decline in the birth rate. This resulted in a steadily increasing average age, and crimes are most often perpetrated by young people. However, we are clearly seeing the return of the high homicide rates of the early 90s. America is going back to the murder rates experienced during the so-called “crack wars.” A time when Democrat politicians like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton both famously denounced young gang members as “super predators.”
Below is homicide data compiled by the website Thread Reader App: