According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, homicides in California increased by 31% in 2020, making it the deadliest year since 2007. There were 2,202 homicides in 2020, which is 523 more than in 2019. That amounts to a homicide rate of 4.2 to 5.5 per 100,000 people.
Although black people make up 6.5% of the state’s population, they accounted for 31% of all homicide victims in 2020. 45% of homicide victims in 2020 were Latino, while white people accounted for 16%. The Times’s report noted that the significant increase in homicides was “in part because the number and rate of homicides the year before were so low.” According to UC Berkeley’s California Policy Lab, the homicide rate in 2019 was the lowest since 1966.
Nearly three-quarters of 2020 homicides involved a firearm, increasing 69% from 2019. Additionally, domestic violence-related calls for assistance involving a firearm increased by 42%. It’s worth noting that handgun sales increased 65.5% while long-gun sales increased 45.9%. In fact, handgun sales broke records with 686,435 being sold in 2020.
According to an office report quoted by Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta:
- Over 1/3 of homicides in 2020 resulted from an argument
- 28% of homicides in 2020 were gang-related
- 7% of homicides in 2020 were related to domestic violence
- 8.5% of homicides in 2020 were connected to rape, robbery, or burglary
Despite the significant year-to-year increase in homicides, state reports show that violent crime rose less than 1%. The report shows the drop in violent crimes is attributed to the decrease in robberies and rapes.
In a report to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code, experts from UC Berkeley note that the “pandemic and its accompanying stay-at-home orders and other restrictions led to erratic changes in crime patterns last year.”
According to Mia Bird, one of the experts from UC Berkeley, “We were really surprised by the increase in homicide, but also that California is looking at worst in step with the rest of the country and is even maybe looking a little bit better than what we’re seeing nationally.”
Reliable Murder Defense Attorneys Serving Los Angeles
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we know that a murder conviction can result in penalties that can change the course of your life forever. That is why it is crucial to consult with our legal team as soon as possible if you have been accused of committing a homicide. We are equipped with the extensive resources and legal insight that you need on your side to pursue justice and avoid serious penalties.
Call (800) 462-7160 today or contact us online if you are facing murder charges.