It was a year of reduced mingling and mayhem in some Detroit crime categories, 2020 police data shows, but murders and gunfire rose even during a pandemic.
George Hunter has a Detroit News preview of year-end figures:
Detroit recorded 327 criminal homicides in 2020, up 19% from 274 the previous year, according to police statistics that are expected to be announced at a Thursday press conference. ... Nonfatal shootings in Detroit rose even more dramatically last year, with 1,173 shootings, up 53% from 2019. ...
"Covid was the primary factor behind these numbers," Police Chief James Craig said. "The pandemic is having a direct impact on the rise in violence in Detroit and other cities."
Coronavirus-related hardships spurred drinking and drug use, as Craig sees it, which he links to more gunshots. The chief tells Hunter:
"People are frustrated, drunk or high on drugs. And when there's a dispute, they make the bad decision to settle it violently. This isn't just in Detroit; it's happening across the country."
On a less distressing note, the paper posts figures showing 2020 declines in other Detroit violence categories:
Sexual assaults dropped 36%
Robberies were down 21%
Occupied vehicle thefts (carjackings) dipped 9%
Unoccupied vehicle thefts declined 17%
Home and business burglaries were down 35%