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  • Black Lives Matter protesters next to the Justice Center in downtown Portland, Oregon. August 1, 2020.

    Black Lives Matter protesters next to the Justice Center in downtown Portland, Oregon. August 1, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 August 2020
Opinion

Drug possession and trade dropped significantly since March when social isolation and quarantine started due to the pandemic. Beyond this, looting and street robbery peaked in late May, concurring with national protests after the assassination of George Floyd.

U.S. National Commission on Covid-19 and Criminal Justice reported homicides doubled during the pandemic, while other felonies dropped.

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“Homicides and aggravated assaults rose significantly in late May and June of 2020. Homicides increased by 37%, and aggravated assaults went up by 35%,” the study concludes.

The researchers of the Missouri-St. Louis University collected the data from police-online portals of 27 cities and compared it to the prior year’s lawbreaking and pre-pandemic rates.

The homicide and violent crimes tolls increased in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, but also in smaller cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.

The experts stressed some pivotal events that affected the crime rates. Drug possession and trade dropped significantly since March when social isolation and quarantine started due to the pandemic. Beside, looting and street robbery peaked in late May, concurring with national protests after the assassination of George Floyd.

“Some of the violence was directly connected to the protest activity, although in most cases it appears to have involved persons other than the protesters. Most of the increase in violent crime took place away from the demonstrations and was not limited to a single week,” the investigation reports.

The increase in violent crimes in 2020 could also be related to police discredit, pandemic mismanagement, and massive discontent with government policies, researches pointed.

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