Just as far-left Democrats call for defunding the police, a majority of America’s 50 largest cities saw their murder rates skyrocket amid racial unrest stoked by liberals and the mainstream media. Thirty-six out of the top 50 cities had a collective 24% jump in homicides this year compared to 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Chicago saw the biggest increase, with more than one of every eight murders reported out of all cities surveyed occurring there. From the start of 2020 until July 31, there were 2,240 people shot in Chicago; 440 died, according to the Chicago Police Department.

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Murder rates also increased in Detroit and Philadelphia, but also areas not usually associated with violence, such as Phoenix and Omaha, the Journal reported.

“Philadelphia and New York City came in just behind the country’s third-largest city, both tallying more than 200 more homicides this year. Along with Chicago, Austin and Fort Worth, Tx. saw the largest increase in murders,” Yahoo reported.

Police and crime experts have attributed the spike in violence to a variety of factors, including a rise in gang violence, an economic recession caused by the shutdown of businesses, and the lack of activity during the pandemic by social institutions that historically help tamp down crime, such as churches and schools.

There have reportedly been 3,612 murders in 2020 so far, Fox News reported.

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Researchers believe the cause of the sudden increase in homicides is due to churches, schools and other institutions being closed while police are simultaneously being ostracized.

“The criminals feel like they can do whatever they want to do, they know the police department is at a vulnerable state right now with staffing levels and with morale,” stated Rich Walker, Sr. of the Minneapolis Police Federation. “…Cops are relatively reserved right now, they’re answering their calls, but they’re not going that extra mile.”

Cities like Fresno, Calif., have also seen a spike. “Gangs are built around structure and lack thereof,” Fresno police department spokesman Jeff La Blue told the Journal. “With schools being closed and a lot of different businesses being closed, the people that normally would have been involved in positive structures in their lives aren’t there.”

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