The number of murders in Minnesota increased an alarming 58 percent last year and set a new record, after the state became the epicenter of demands to 'defund' the police in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, new data show.
In 2020, 185 people were murdered across the state, marking an all-time high and sharp increase from 117 the year before, according to the state's Uniform Crime Report released on Tuesday.
It broke the previous record of 183, set in 1995 when Minneapolis was dubbed 'Murderapolis' due to surging homicides.
Meanwhile, the number of sworn police officers across Minnesota declined by 152 last year from the year prior, a decrease of 1.5 percent.
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The number of murders in Minnesota increased an alarming 58 percent last year
A protester marching with defund the police sign last summer in St Paul, Minnesota
The net decline in officers was heavily concentrated in the large departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul, cities that together accounted for 114 of the state's murders last year.
Overall, the rate of violent crimes increased by 16.6 percent in Minnesota compared with 2019, with aggravated assault and robbery up and rape down.
The surge in violent crime in Minnesota follows similar trends nationwide, after last summer's demonstrations and unrest over the police officer who murdered Floyd in Minneapolis.
In New York City, the number of murders surged 44 percent last year, and is on pace to soar even higher in 2021.
Los Angeles reported 349 homicides in 2020, a 20 percent jump and the most the city has seen in more than a decade.
In the Midwest, some cities saw even bigger jumps. Murders in Chicago rose 50 percent in 2020, and in Milwaukee they nearly doubled, smashing the city's previous record set in 1991 by more than 14 percent.
St. Louis recorded its highest per-capita murder rate ever last year, exceeding the record set in 1993.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Nationally, homicides increased by 42 percent during the summer and 34 percent in the fall compared to 2019, according to a November study of 28 cities by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.
A chart shows the relationship of homicide offenders to victims last year
Handguns were the most common weapons used to commit murder in Minnesota
Members of the Minnesota State Patrol stand guard with batons in hand during a demonstration on the grounds of the State Capitol last June
The FBI's unified crime report on national statistics has not yet been released with definitive crime statistics for 2020.
The new report in Minnesota does not offer analysis on the reasons for the increase in crime, mostly sticking to raw statistics, leaving it to politicians and activists to debate the