Atlanta’s homicide rate increase is the highest in the nation

October 13, 2021
1 min read
Atlanta's homicide rate increase is the highest in the nation
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ATLANTA — Atlanta’s homicide rate during the coronavirus pandemic increased more than 50 other major American cities, according to a new survey by the personal finance website WalletHub.  

WalletHub compared the 50 cities based on homicides per capita in the third quarters of this year, last year and 2019. Data from the study is also based in some cases on preliminary police department crime statistics.

Here are the top 10 cities with the most increases in homicide: 

1. Atlanta
2. Memphis, Tenn.
3. Chicago
4. New Orleans
5. Baltimore
6. Indianapolis
7. (Tied) Washington, D.C.
9. Louisville, Ky.
10. Columbus, Ohio 

“Crime does not go up or down for one single reason,” said Matthew Hale, a political science professor at Seton Hall University. “In many places, unemployment and under-employment may be causing more people to consider and commit illegal activity.

“In some places, more general uncertainty and fear caused by the pandemic is leading toward criminal activity. In other places, it may be police fear of doing their job because of the heightened scrutiny. Most likely, it is all of these factors coming together at once.” 

“Public perception of police is largely dependent on an individual’s socialization with the law, experiences with crime, and interactions with the police,” said Bryanna Fox, a criminology professor at the University of South Florida. “As crime increases, more people are victimized and have interactions with police.

“If they feel that their cases and interactions are handled fairly, the process is transparent, and their voices are heard, their trust in police will likely improve. If individuals have been socialized to trust and rely on the police, they may expect more police presence to address crime, and their perceptions of police will also improve when they feel law enforcement is effectively reducing crime.” 

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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