(TheRedAlertNews.com) – Nearly half of all homicides in the United States remain unsolved, according to data analyzed by the nonprofit organization Murder Accountability Project (MAP)
MAP has revealed that in 2020, the murder “clearance rate,” which is the share of total murder cases solved by police, declined to its lowest point ever.
Thus, between 2015 and 2020, the proportion of solved homicides collapsed to an all-time low of slightly over 50%. That is in contrast to the mid-1960s when more than 90% of all murder cases were solved.
“We’re on the verge of being the first developed nation where the majority of homicides go uncleared,” MAP founder Thomas Hargrove told The Guardian, as cited by The National Review.
The criteria for “clearing” a criminal case, for example, a homicide, require that law enforcement arrests and charges at least one suspect over it.
At the same time, the report emphasizes that crime clearing rates could depend on “murky” science.
Thus, FBI data showed in 2020, hundreds of homicides were cleared by law enforcement through “exceptional means.” That refers to cases in which police could not make an arrest even though they believed they had sufficient evidence.
The inability to make an arrest could be caused by different factors – for instance, the suspect could be missing due to extradition or death.
MAP founder Hargrove says, however, that the lack of US government databases on murders prevents Americans from grasping the full scope of the homicide crisis.
In his words, that matters the most in intercity jurisdictions such as Baltimore, Indianapolis, or Oakland. In such places, murders of black men are the least likely to lead to an arrest.
The report quotes studies that have found that homicides of black men are 15-30% less likely to result in an arrest.
The cities in question have been an outburst of anti-police sentiment since 2020 after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As a result, there has been reduced funding and less cooperation by witnesses.
“You hear every cop saying, ‘We can’t do better because they don’t cooperate,’” commented retired homicide detective John Skaggs, who now trains officers nationwide.
The Guardian also quotes University of Chicago researcher Philip Cook, who isn’t worried by the declining homicide clearance rate. Instead, he said it might be caused by superior policing, judicial standards, and misuse of public resources.
“It also could be that the standards for making an arrest have gone up, and some of the tricks they were using in 1965 are no longer available,” Cook told the Marshall Project, criminal justice reform group.
Going against “defund the police” activists, MAP insists law enforcement needs more money to improve crime clearance rates.
“[MAP] firmly believes declining homicide clearance rates are the result of inadequate allocation of resources — detectives, forensic technicians, crime laboratory capacity, and adequate training of personnel,” Hargrove said.
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