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13.46% Rise in Cleveland Murder Rate: Why This City’s Homicide Rate Bucks the National Trend

Murder Rates Diverge Across U.S. Cities

Cleveland Bucks National Trend with Rising Murder Rate

According to News 5 Cleveland, murder rates are dropping in many U.S. cities but Cleveland is not seeing this trend. While murder rate have decreased in cities like Akron and Cincinnati Cleveland‘s murder rate has risen by 13.46% this year, according to AH Datalytics. Jeff Asher a former CIA analyst and co-founder of AH Datalytics tracks this data and confirms this year’s trends.

READ ALSO: Boston’s Crime Rate: How The City Is Tackling Violence And Achieving Success

(PHOTO: Wikipedia)

Historic Decline in National Homicides

The U.S. is on track for one of the largest drops in homicides since the 1960s. Asher suggests that the fading pandemic and its associated issues might explain the overall decline. However, Cleveland‘s situation is different.

Pre-existing Crime Levels Affect Recovery

Rachel Lovell Director of the Criminology Research Center at Cleveland State University points out several factors contributing to Cleveland’s high homicide rate. Before the pandemic Cleveland already had high violent murder rate. Lovell notes that cities with lower murder rates found it easier to recover from the pandemic’s impact on crime.

Impact of Lenient Gun Laws

Lovell also cites Ohio‘s lenient gun laws as a factor. Easy access to firearms especially for those who shouldn’t have them leads to more violent crimes like homicides. States with stricter gun control tend to see lower murder rate.

Shrinking Police Force Hinders Crime Solving

Cleveland‘s police force has also shrunk significantly losing 32% of its officers during the pandemic. This loss has impacted the homicide unit’s ability to solve cases. The city has ignored recommendations to increase the number of homicide detectives. A report in 2020 suggested having 38 detectives but there are currently only 17.

Mayor’s Efforts to Enhance Safety

Despite these challenges Mayor Justin Bibb says the city is working hard to improve safety. He mentions investing in intelligence and efforts to attract and retain new officers. However, the city remains understaffed with 1,226 officers which is 272 below the budgeted amount.

Families Frustrated by Unsolved Cases

Families of murder victims like Ayesha Muwakkil and her daughter Samantha Dunnigan express frustration over the lack of communication and unsolved cases. Their grief is deepened by the mystery surrounding their loved one’s death. Brian Gardner Muwakkil’s son was shot and killed in 2022 and his case remains unsolved.

Experts Call for Multifaceted Solutions

Experts agree that hiring more officers is part of the solution but not the only one. Asher warns against oversimplifying the issue. Lovell suggests treating crime as a public health issue and supporting community organizations like the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance.

Struggles of a Grieving Mother

Cleveland resident Ayesha Muwakkil struggled to find resources to help her son Brian Gardner who ended up involved in drugs and was eventually shot and killed. The family’s grief is compounded by the lack of answers about his murder. They continue to seek justice for Brian.

READ ALSO: Exploring Philadelphia’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

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