What Caused The 2020 Homicide Spike?


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By Jeremiah Prophet. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


In my review of San Fransicko, I mentioned that it was hard to separate the effect of San Francisco’s local policies from the general 2020 spike in homicides, which I attributed to the Black Lives Matter protests and subsequent police pullback.

The nationwide 2020 spike in homicides (source). The spike is small compared to the secular trend from the 1960s through 2000, but large by the standards of the past twenty years.

Several people in the comments questioned my attribution, saying that they’d read news articles saying the homicide spike was because of the pandemic, or that nobody knew what was causing the spike. I agree there are many articles like that, but I disagree with them. Here’s why:

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