Since the late 80s, the United States has shown significant reductions in violent crimes and murders. The numbers continued to decline even as the U.S. population gained 100 million new members.
In 1960, the violent crime rate was about 160 incidents per 100,0000 people. By the end of the ‘60s, the number would more than double to 328 incidents per 100,0000 people. By the end of the ‘80s, there were almost 700 incidents per 100,000 people. The number peaked in 1991 when the U.S. reported over 750 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
But after 1991, the number started going down. In 1992, it decreased by only one percentage point, but by the end of the decade, the number had dropped to 523 violent crimes per 100,000 people. By 2009, we were below 500, at 431. In 2014, we hit a 40-year low at 372 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In 2019, we were at 379.
While the COVID pandemic caused a temporary dip and then a spike in violent crimes, the numbers have remained relatively stable. There is no surge in violent crime—at least statistically.
Criminal Justice Reform
Today, there may be more concern over violence committed by police officers than there is concern over violent crime. For that reason, certain political candidates need to try extra hard to remind you to be afraid. Today, mining the public’s fear and rage is the surest path to victory for a political candidate. However, the impact that it’s having on the public poisons just about every honest discussion you can have on an important topic.
Today, law enforcement feels as though they are being singled out by activists who are concerned on behalf of the public that police are not fully trained to handle mental health situations. Ideally, such an insight would result in police diversifying their services to include mental health negotiators who can help resolve situations using less-lethal or non-violent means. Families, of course, are outraged that their loved ones are being shot by police when they only need help. Police maintain that they are within their rights when discharging their weapons in these situations.
While the violent crime rate is down overall, some reports indicate that the number of fatal police interactions has gone up during the same interval. Further, the FBI recently reported that police officers killed in the line of duty reached a 20-year high in 2022.
What About Reports of Violent Crime Increases?
2020 marked a significant uptick in the number of violent crimes. The issues are largely thought to be related to the pandemic. It remains unclear if the momentum we have gained since the mid-90s will continue, and violent crime rates will continue to fall. But when you look at the issue on a decade-by-decade basis as opposed to comparing 2019 to 2020, you see that the trends are much the opposite of what is being reported in the news.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
David Freidberg represents the interests of those who have been charged with crimes in Cook County. Call today at (312) 560-7100, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.