PORTLAND, Ore. — Gun violence is surging in Portland, but numbers show that is the case in nearly every major city nationwide.
Data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association, a professional organization that represents police departments in major cities across the U.S. and Canada, shows homicides increased nationwide from 2019 to 2020. There were 8,077 homicides reported in 66 major U.S. cities in 2020, compared to 6,087 in 2019. The number of homicides increased from 2019 to 2020 in all but nine of the responding cities.
Not all homicides involve guns, but according to CDC data, firearms were the means for about 75% of homicides in 2018, the most recent year that data is available.
Homicides in Portland increased from 28 in 2019 to 54 in 2020. Among cities similar in size to Portland, Seattle saw an increase from 34 to 53 homicides, in Minneapolis, a spike from 48 to 82, and Milwaukee saw homicides increase from 97 to 190 from 2019 to 2020.
Among the major cities included in the data, aggravated assaults also spiked from 224,951 in 2019 to 257,885 in 2020. Aggravated assaults increased year-over-year in all but 10 cities. Not all aggravated assaults involve firearms, but someone can be charged with aggravated assault if they shoot and injure someone.
Data comparing crime rates from the first three months of 2020 and 2021 also shows homicides and aggravated assaults increasing overall nationwide, although fewer cities saw an increase than did from 2019 to 2020.
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