12 Major US Cities Break Homicide Records

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The "Defund the Police" movement taken up by many progressivist cities may have contributed a lot to the spike in homicides and other crimes. (Flickr)

In a truly chilling development, no fewer than 12 major cities across America have broken their homicide records.

With three weeks left to go in 2021, cities ranging from Philadelphia on the East Coast to Portland, Oregon on the West Coast have already experienced shocking spikes in the number of killings.

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Besides Philadelphia with 501 murders, and Portland, Oregon, with 72, the ten other American cities with new annual homicide records in the US are as follows:

Rochester in New York – 71 homicides; Columbus and Toledo in Ohio – 179 and 62 homicides, respectively; Louisville, Kentucky – 175 homicides; Indianapolis, Indiana, with 246 homicides; St. Paul, Minnesota – 35 homicides; Baton Rouge, Louisiana – 137 homicides; Austin, Texas – 60 homicides; Albuquerque, New Mexico – 82 homicides; Tucson, Arizona – 80 homicides.

The above homicide figures mark the number that surpassed the previous record. As for these dozen cities, this occurred somewhere between August and December; the total number of killings in each one is actually higher as of December 9, 2021.

Five Cities Going from Bad to Worse

Five of the cities, which have broken their own gruesome records in 2021, also did so last year, according to a report by ABC News. These are Louisville, Columbus, Toledo, Indianapolis, and Baton Rouge.

The report cites Philadelphia’s mayor, Democrat Jim Kenney, as describing the skyrocketing homicides in his city as “just crazy”. It notes experts have pointed out a number of contributing causes, such as police staff shortages, a sharp decline in arrests last year, and hardship and stress generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philadelphia’s previous record was 500 homicides back in 1990. As of December 6, 2021, the city of 1.5 million people, at 521 homicides, has suffered more murders than the largest cities in the US, New York, with 443 as of December 5, and Los Angeles, with 352 as of November 27.


Last year, Philadelphia saw a 13% increase in homicide numbers, nearly breaking the 1990 record. The highest number of homicides this year so far has been registered in Chicago, with 739 towards November 30.

However, Chicago’s grim record dates back to 1970, when it saw 973 killings.

Two other major cities – Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin – are near the point of surpassing their own homicide records.

The former has already seen 91 killings this year, with its record from 1995 being of 97. The latter has registered 178 murders – its record was 190, from 2020.

A large number of police officers has retired or resigned across the US since 2020. (Flickr)

Mass Police Retirement, Resignation

In 2020, the United States saw a staggering annual increase in the number of homicides by 30%, according to FBI data published in September in its Uniform Crime Report. The grim spike is the highest since the FBI started keeping records on homicide numbers 60 years ago.

The FBI data also shows in 2020, the number of arrests in the US went down by 24% – from over 10 million in 2019 to 7.63 million, the lowest figure in 25 years.

According to the latest police workforce survey, which was published back in June by the Police Executive Research Forum, the rate of law enforcement officers’ retirement in departments across the nation spiked by 45% between 2020 and 2021.

To make the situation even worse, a total of 18% of the officers resigned on their own, a development potentially connected with the riots, protesters, and defund the police campaigns across the US.