Violent crime continued to rise in many big cities, led by Chicago, this year, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University said today.
Brennan estimated that this year’s big-city murder rate would rise 14 percent over last year, with Chicago alone accounting for 43.4 percent of the increase. That city’s unofficial total for the year so far is 758, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The center asked the 30 largest U.S. cities by population for their latest data, getting numbers on violence from 25. Of those, the violent crime rate was up as 2016 neared an end in 13 cities: Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Worth, Houston, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and San Jose.
But violent crime dropped in 12 cities: Boston, Columbus, Detroit, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington. D.C.
The center projected the violent crime rate overall in the biggest cities to rise 3.3 percent, with overall crime increasing just .3 percent. Low property crime rates are helping hold crime generally near historic lows in modern U.S. history.
Two cities are major contributors to the violence increase, Chicago, where it is up 17.7 percnt, and Charlotte, up 13.4 percent.
Last year, Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., accounted for more than half of the increase in murders. In 2016, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are projected to see their murder rates decline, by 6 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively.
Because many cities are reporting declines in crime, the Brennan Center says, “Concerns about a national crime wave are still premature, but these trends suggest a need to understand how and why murder is increasing in some cities.”
Full crime data for the nation is not expected until the FBI issues its annual compilation next September.