Experts say the U.S. is on track to top last year’s over 20,000 murders, the highest since 1995.
When the spike in murders became clear last year, many blamed it on the lockdown, which saw people shut in homes and millions losing their jobs.
They also blamed the rise in the availability of guns: about 23 million were sold in 2020.
But the pandemic, the explosion in anti-police sentiment and nationwide protests over the murder of George Floyd and other African-Americans combined with other factors to contribute to the surge in deaths, according to Jeff Asher, a criminologist and co-founder of AH Datalytics.
He said, “There’s no simple explanation… It’s just a complex soup of combustible situations with the pandemic, with loss of police legitimacy.”
He added, “Everybody’s under stress, everybody’s got a gun and police legitimacy went down. You put all that together and you get the worst nine months of murder in recent American history.”