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Report: Murder Rate Up in 29 of Largest Cities

Cop guarding Pulse Night Club in Orlando

The murder rate in 29 of the largest American cities was up in the first six months of 2016, according to data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

According to the data, reported on by The Wall Street Journal,  homicides were up 15 percent in the 51 large cities that provided information for the survey. More than half of that was attributed to two cities, however: Chicago, which is plagued by gang violence, and Orlando, where 49 people were shot to death at a gay nightclub in June by a man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during his attack.

In fact, violent crime in nearly every category except rape is on the rise throughout the nation.

Major cities have experienced more than 1,000 more robberies, almost 2,000 more aggravated assaults and more than 600 non-fatal shootings in 2016 compared to this time last year, CNN reported.

Chicago’s 316 homicides were by far the most of any law enforcement agency included in the survey, a 48 percent increase over last year. In Los Angeles, there were 110 homicides so far this year, compared to 85 in 2015. San Jose’s 25 homicides more than doubled the amount during the same period last year.

Violent crime had been on the decline since the 1990s, but rose again in 2015. The Journal notes that many big city mayors had hoped last year’s numbers were an aberration. Still, Major Cities Chiefs Association Executive Director Darrel Stephens told the Journal it is too early to say whether the number represent a long-term trend.

“It’s going to take a bit more to say this trend of 20 years is being reversed,” Stephens said. Some cities might be seeing a rise, he said, “but not on a national basis.”

Homicides did fall in 22 cities, some of which saw increases the year before. Other cities, including New York, have seen declines, but were not included in the survey because they did not share their data.

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