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DC homicide clearance reaches lowest level after rates drop from 50 to 42 percent for 2021

The DC homicide clearance rate experienced an eight percent decline this year as less than half of murder cases were closed this year which criminologists attribute to the lack of trust with law enforcement amid the country’s woke anti-police movement. 

The lack of trust in law enforcement has been attributed to the decline in the city’s clearance rate as 42 percent homicide cases were reportedly closed in 2021, according to data from DC Witness.  

Criminologists have since noted that police reliability is significant staple to solving murder cases as it is necessary to speak with witnesses and conduct thorough investigations. 

These specialists also noted that numbers reportedly fluctuate based on these relationships as evidenced by the intense crime rate continuing to spiral throughout the city.   

The negative relationship between members of law enforcement and the community has been attributed to events such as the May 2020 murder of George Floyd after Minnesota officer Derek Chauvin sat on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Movements around the country called for police departments to be defunded in response to Floyd’s death throughout the summer season of that year.  

The homicide clearance rate has seen a significant drop after 50 percent of cases were closed for 2020.

The year 2021 also saw a near thirteen percent increase in homicides as compared to last year with 226 total incidents reported. 

The city’s overall crime rate also rose by three percent with 28,413 incidents reported in total.  

Criminologists report that a lack of trust with local law enforcement has contributed to the eight percent drop in DC homicide clearance rates for 2021

The year 2021 saw a near thirteen percent increase in homicide cases since 2020 as 226 total incidents were reported

The year 2021 saw a near thirteen percent increase in homicide cases since 2020 as 226 total incidents were reported 

The clearance rate dropped from 50 to 42 percent for this year as compared to 2020

The clearance rate dropped from 50 to 42 percent for this year as compared to 2020

‘If people are less confident in the police, want to have less contact with the police, they’re not going to be as cooperative,’ Criminology professor Richard Rosenfeld told Fox News.

‘The police therefore lose that valuable form of assistance as they’re trying to solve homicides.’

‘The police can’t clear crimes on their own. Those of us who happened to witness the event are key ingredients in the ability of the police to clear a homicide or any other serious crime with an arrest.’

Criminologists have noted that a lack of trust has contributed to the community’s dwindling faith in law enforcement.   

‘There can be a very vicious cycle involving police efforts to solve homicides, which under circumstances last year and into this year meant that the police were solving fewer homicides,’ Rosenfeld also told the network. 

‘As a result, community confidence in the effectiveness of the police certainly doesn’t improve or go up.’

“It very likely decreases. As community confidence in the police decreases … we might expect homicides to go up, increasing the caseload, making it more difficult for the police to solve homicides.’

The trust in police officers is considered to be vital in homicide investigations as evidenced by the decreasing rate

The trust in police officers is considered to be vital in homicide investigations as evidenced by the decreasing rate

Movements to defund national police departments were implemented in response to events such as the 2020 murder of George Floyd

Movements to defund national police departments were implemented in response to events such as the 2020 murder of George Floyd

A Gallup poll from August 2020 demonstrated that trust in law enforcement was at its lowest with only a 48 percent rate. 

Despite the rising clearance rate, the country’s confidence with police rose by three percent for 2021. 

However, a community’s relationship with law enforcement is considered to be crucial in terms of homicide investigations as proven by the clearance rate decline.

‘The number one factor in whether a homicide will be cleared is the availability of a cooperative witness, and in some homicide cases, there is no available cooperative witness,’ crime researcher Thomas Abt told Fox News. 

These criminologists have noted that by increasing methods of intervention for city violence and implementing further resources for police would be ideal in aiding further investigations.  

Mayor Muriel Bowser attempted to request to hire more officers even after the budget for law enforcement decreased following the anti-police movements

Mayor Muriel Bowser attempted to request to hire more officers even after the budget for law enforcement decreased following the anti-police movements

National movements were organized to defund police organizations around the country in response to the George Floyd murder. 

In response, the DC City Council regularly decreased the budget for law enforcement and even denied Mayor Muriel Bowser’s request to hire more officers.

However, the council planned to organize a social program that would help combat city violence.

The number of police members continued to see a decrease as only 3,550 officers were reported to be on the city’s force in December.  

Bowser had blamed the low staffing numbers on the effects of on attrition and a lack of officers.

The MPD, which reportedly has a $550 million budget, said in June that ‘higher than anticipated attrition’ was responsible for the $3 million unspent by the department for staffing operations and job vacancies.

Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart noted that the importance of giving more resources to the MPD to further investigate and clear homicides as well as other crimes following a violent year for the city which saw a three percent increase since 2020.

‘This year were bad numbers compared to in years past here in the District of Columbia,’ Geldart told Fox News.

‘But I also look at all the things that we’ve done, the things that we’ve been able to accomplish, and it could have been a heck of a lot worse.’

The city and MPD had implemented some resources to aid in combatting DC’s violent crime wave but Geldart was still left unsatisfied.

‘Again, not satisfied, not happy with the outcome, but I do think it could have been a heck of a lot worse,’ he added. 

DC Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart noted that the pandemic also affected the low clearance rate as it was difficult to arrest and prosecute criminals as court trials were being suspended and correctional facilities were keeping limited populations behind bars to prevent the spread

DC Deputy Mayor Chris Geldart noted that the pandemic also affected the low clearance rate as it was difficult to arrest and prosecute criminals as court trials were being suspended and correctional facilities were keeping limited populations behind bars to prevent the spread

Geldart also said that the pandemic had impacted the clearance rates for the past year that left court trials suspended and underpopulated correctional facilities to prevent further spread of the virus.  

‘The interesting thing that we’ve seen over this year as our homicide rates have gone where they’ve gone is the community is actually not in that same place, he said. 

‘The community is actually asking, “Where are our police officers? We want the police officers in the community.”‘

‘Is there trust in the police force? Is the police force there to serve the community in the way that the community expects? I think the answer here in the District of Columbia is, for the most it could possibly be, it is.’

The MPD also released a statement on behalf of Fox News.  

‘MPD is working tirelessly and building upon relationships with the communities we serve to make them safer,’ the statement read. 

‘MPD emphasizes accountability and transparency to support an open and trusting relationship with the community.’

‘MPD is committed to ensuring that each police interaction meets its high standards for fair and constitutional policing.’ 


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