2020 Detroit crime stats show 19% homicide rise, 53% surge in nonfatal shootings

January 05, 2021, 12:04 PM

It was a year of reduced mingling and mayhem in some Detroit crime categories, 2020 police data shows, but murders and gunfire rose even during a pandemic.

George Hunter has a Detroit News preview (paywalled) of year-end figures:

Detroit recorded 327 criminal homicides in 2020, up 19% from 274 the previous year, according to police statistics that are expected to be announced at a Thursday press conference. ... Nonfatal shootings in Detroit rose even more dramatically last year, with 1,173 shootings, up 53% from 2019. ...

"Covid was the primary factor behind these numbers," Police Chief James Craig said. "The pandemic is having a direct impact on the rise in violence in Detroit and other cities."

James Craig: "This isn't just in Detroit." (File photo)

Coronavirus-related hardships spurred drinking and drug use, as Craig sees it, which he links to more gunshots. The chief tells Hunter:

"People are frustrated, drunk or high on drugs. And when there's a dispute, they make the bad decision to settle it violently. This isn't just in Detroit; it's happening across the country."

On a less distressing note, the paper posts figures showing 2020 declines in other Detroit violence categories:

  • Sexual assaults dropped 36%

  • Robberies were down 21%

  • Occupied vehicle thefts (carjackings) dipped 9%

  • Unoccupied vehicle thefts declined 17%

  • Home and business burglaries were down 35%

Read more:  The Detroit News

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