If the current homicide rate in St. Louis keeps pace, the city of Missouri may be well on its way to surpassing the 194 registered homicides it observed in 2019.
Between January and May, the city had 77 registered homicides, according to data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Adding the June unfinished homicide number, the total number jumps to 99, as shown by the police department's UCR 2020 homicide analysis through Monday.
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"We have a crisis of violence because we are not doing what is necessary," James Clark, vice president of public safety and community response for the Urban League of St. Louis, said in an interview with FOX 2 St. Louis. "This is senseless violence, but now we are seeing unnecessary violence. We do not need to continue at the rate that is happening in the St. Louis metropolitan area."
Of the 99 St. Louis homicides this year, 29 were closed while 70 remain open. In addition, there are eight killings that were not included in the police department report that were deemed "justifiable."
As a community leader, Clark believes the killings are occurring due to a lack of de-escalation techniques, a sentiment shared by Lewis Reed, the chairman of the Alderman Board, despite the fact that the board he represents has approved $ 5 million for public health. Cure Violence program in October last year.
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However, the large number of homicides is a lot for the organization.
"Basically, we are going to spend another summer without additional support, still operating in the old system that has brought murder, after murder, after murder," Reed told FOX 2.
The number of homicides in St. Louis has exceeded 185 in the past four years, according to police records. The highest were 205 homicides in 2017, which is also the year a report from the Pew Research Center was dubbed a "murder capital."
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St. Louis' current rising murder rate comes at a time when there are riots throughout the city due to recent protests over demilitarization and the disbursement of police funds, which is the latest lawsuit after the death of George Floyd and other unarmed African Americans, some of whom died in police custody
FOX 2 Derrion Henderson contributed to this report.