A new study released Monday, Feb. 1, by the National Commission of COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ) reported extremely troubling data on homicides during 2020. The combination of the effects of the pandemic on the economy, coupled with violent demonstrations by leftist groups, plus Democratic states cutting law enforcement budgets, led to a lethal combination that resulted in a 30% increase in the homicide rate.

The commission posted a troubling message on its Twitter account that read, “#NCCCJ report examining crime rates in 34 US cities finds historic, 30% increase in homicides in 2020. Gun & other aggravated assaults also increased over 2019. Authors urge urgent action to stop the violence.”

Murder rates experienced a “historic” increase in 2020 compared to 2019, with more than 1,200 additional murders, in a sample of 34 large cities, the study reported.

“Homicide rates were higher during every month of 2020 relative to rates from the previous year,” the report states, calling the 30% surge “a large and troubling increase that has no modern precedent.”

Between 2019 and 2020, rates of assault with a firearm and aggravated assault also increased by 8% and 6%, respectively, experts found.

Domestic violence was also one of the points analyzed in the study and it was detected that during the first months of pandemic, when people suffered more intensely from the confinement, crimes of this type “multiplied considerably,” to then return to stabilize in the same numbers as 2019.

Undoubtedly, the most worrying result of the study is the increase in homicide cases evenly distributed in the 34 cities around the country. 

While the economic crisis produced by the pandemic is understood to be one of the causes of the increase in homicides, experts also pointed out that the lockdowns could also have helped to reduce murders as people stayed at home longer. 

However, reality also showed that during the pandemic, violent protests by radicalized leftist sectors increased considerably and many of these protests culminated in looting, robberies, destruction of buildings, and armed confrontations that in many cases ended with people being killed. 

In addition to this reality, part of the leftist demands consisted in reducing funds to the police forces, many Democratic state governments accepted and considerably reduced the resources of the security forces and others, following this same line, did not accept the recurrent offers of help from the Trump administration to send federal troops to stop the wave of violence. 

Undoubtedly the erratic decisions by the Democratic governors regarding how to manage and administer police forces, helped the increase in homicides. 

Another significant statistic is that the three largest cities, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, accounted for 40% of the additional 1,268 people killed in 2020, the report said. 

Interestingly, the three cities are governed by Democrats who were extreme in the measures against the virus, causing a deep economic crisis with consequent job losses, also fueled from the government left-wing protests and made budget cuts in law enforcement, while rejecting offers to send federal assistance by President Trump .

“Homicides increased in nearly all of the 34 cities in the sample,” the experts wrote. “In the authors’ view, urgent action is necessary to address these rapidly rising rates. Subduing the pandemic, increasing confidence in the police and the justice system, and implementing proven anti-violence strategies will be necessary to achieve a durable peace in the nation’s cities.”