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