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Police in the U.S. were able to solve only 54% of murder cases by 2020, recognizing the lack of officers between the pandemic and widespread anti-police demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter.

“The country’s police and sheriff’s departments will have more staff to meet the growing demand for their investigative services by 2020,” read the report on the Murder Accountability Project. Analyzed the latest FBI data . “Public outrage over the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chowdhury and widespread demonstrations on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement have further complicated law enforcement through the COVID pandemic.”

The decline in “clearance rates” in 2020, the homicide rate leading to the arrest of criminals, is the largest single-year decline since the FBI began tracking the metric in 1965. At the same time it indicates the worst case clearance rate. Duration fell from a high of 90% in 1965 to a new low of 54% in 2020.

The declining clearance rate saw the US rise in violent crime and homicide at the same time, with a 30% increase in homicides by 2020 also the largest single-year increase on record.

The huge increase in the number of murdered black Americans is the result of the Defend Police Movement: Experts

Protesters chanted "Defend the police" during a protest over the death of Daniel Proud, a black man, after police placed a spit hood over his head during his arrest on March 23 in Rochester, New York, on September 6.  2020. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

Protesters chanted “Defend the police” during a protest over the death of Daniel Proud, a black man, after police placed a spit hood over his head during his arrest on March 23 in Rochester, New York, on September 6. 2020. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid
(REUTERS / Brendan McDermid)

Unsolved murders occurred in 130 major cities with at least 10 homicides by 2020, three times higher than the national average in those cities, with nearly 23 homicides per 100,000 population.

Thomas Hargrove, chairman of the Murder Accountability Project, said the problem was largely due to the lack of support from elected officials for police departments, arguing that many local departments were not getting adequate resources to do their jobs amid the rise in homicides.

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“The main reasons for the decline in clearance rates are the failure to provide local police with the necessary resources and the failure of local elected leaders to prioritize the investigation of major crimes,” Hargrove said of the agency’s investigation. “If leaders prioritize solving major crimes, clearance rates will generally improve and lives will be saved.”