A nonprofit looked at records and found that the murder clearance rate stayed low last year, too. It hit an all-time low in 2020. The Murder Accountability Project looked at FBI data and found that only 51% of murders were solved in 2021. The number of cases that have been cleared in the country keeps going down compared to the 1980s and 1990s when the rate was closer to 70%.
A case is “cleared” when the killer is caught or killed, or when there is an “exception,” like when the killer is in jail for another crime. Thomas Hargrove, the founder of the Murder Accountability Project, said on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Monday that the low clearance rate is because there aren’t enough people to answer the cases.
“We haven’t given enough money to local police departments to do their jobs right.” He said, “There are not enough homicide detectives, not enough trained detectives, not enough forensic technicians to go to crime scenes, and not enough lab space.” “We just don’t have the tools we need to properly look into major crimes.” The problem gets worse when you look at it by groups.
CBS News looked at FBI data from last year and found that killings of white victims were about 30% more likely to be solved than murders of Hispanic victims and about 50% more likely to be solved than murders of Black victims.
Hargrove said, “There is a growing gap between the police and the people they serve in many big cities, especially in African American neighborhoods after events like the murder of George Floyd.” “That disconnect makes people not trust the police, think that law enforcement isn’t legitimate, and refuse to help with investigations.”
A former murder detective for the Los Angeles Police Department named John Skaggs told The Guardian that a lack of experienced staff is one reason for this. “Every police officer says, ‘We can’t do better because they won’t work with us,'” “But these young cops don’t know how to talk to people and get them to work with them,” Skaggs said.
A lot of people in big cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago are worried about the rising crime numbers. From 2019 to 2020, the death rate in the U.S. rose by 30%. This rise was caused by many things, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hargrove said, “We don’t have enough boots on the ground, and we’re in a war when you think of murder as a conflict.” “The trouble is that many cities are broke.” Tax bases haven’t grown at the same rate as the need for services, so law enforcement has been slowly going hungry.