Charlotte On Track to Exceed Record-Setting 2020 Murder Totals

CHARLOTTE – Violence is on the upswing in cities around the country, and the Queen City is no exception. After setting records for the number of murders in one year in 2020 – a year of Pandemic Panic, economic shocks, and violent riots – Charlotte has already had more murders in 2021 than they at the same point in 2020.

North State Journal runs the numbers:

“Last year broke homicide records for a number of North Carolina municipalities — including Charlotte and Greensboro — and those elevated levels of violence do not appear to be returning to prior levels, according to data for the first six months of 2021 provided to North State Journal by local police departments. Compounding the issue is a simultaneous rise in law enforcement recruitment and retention problems.

North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, had 123 homicides in 2020, the most in their history. But according to Katherine Acosta, a public information officer for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the city has had 53 homicides in the first half of 2021, which is even higher than the 48 they had at the same point in 2020.

The murder rate in Charlotte had already been on a dramatic upswing, jumping from 57 in 2018 to 108 in 2019, before the 2020 record number of 123.

At the end of the year, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said on social media, “The number of homicides this year [2020] is devastating and unfortunate. Some people are quick to resort to deadly force as a method to solving their problems.” […]”

(You can read the rest of the North State Journal report here.)

Obviously, the forces increasingly animating homicidal tendencies are more expansive and insidious than pandemic fears and/or political protests. The economy has largely come back to life, and summer 2021 has been curiously quiet compared to 2020, but the cultural effects of that fall has not decelerated a bit.

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Ailing and understaffed police departments after a year of anti-police movements has naturally removed a deterrence to violence. Moreover, a cultural shift away from individual responsibility and rights toward collective grievance and retribution has eroded basic moral foundations and emboldens those who’ve renounced their own.

It follows that violent crime will rise. When the pendulum swings back to law and order will depend on whether that culture continues to be embraced and promulgated in places like Charlotte and around the country. By that metric, it could get a lot worse before getting better.

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