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Milwaukee' ends 2020 with record 189 homicides

Milwaukee' ends 2020 with record 189 homicides

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MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee ended 2020 with 189 homicides as of New Year’s Day, nearly doubling that figure from 2019 and smashing its previous record set in 1991 by more than 14%.

The Journal Sentinel reported that many experts and local officials believe the increase was influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. It follows a trend seen in dozens of other American cities in 2020 and comes after four years of declining homicides locally.

Nationally, homicides increased by 42% during the summer and 34% in the fall compared to 2019, according to a November study of 28 cities by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.

But it’s not just fatal violence that skyrocketed in Milwaukee in 2020. As of Dec. 16, nonfatal shootings had already victimized more than 700 people in Milwaukee, a 64% increase from 2019, according to the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission. That also ended a two-year decline.

Photos of the year: A look back at the Wisconsin State Journal's top photos of 2020

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