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Louisville’s record level of homicides stands out from other cities with increased violence

Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 3:39 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 7:51 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro is on pace for its deadliest month in what could be its deadliest year ever.

In the first 20 days in June, 21 people died violently.

As the bloodshed accelerates, according to weekly homicide reports from LMPD, fewer than one-third of homicide cases have been solved.

Research from the Pegasus Institute, a Louisville-based public policy think tank, shows the city stands out among larger cities and some of its peer cities for its level of violence.

“Cities all over the country are experiencing these increases in violent crime,” Pegasus Institute Executive Director Josh Crawford said. “They have been since 2015. But Louisville is unique among large cities, among medium cities and among many of the cities that we compare ourselves to, in that we continue to have our deadliest year on record. For most cities and the country as a whole, their deadliest years are somewhere between the early 1970s and the early 1990s.”

In the past 5 years, Louisville suffered 562 homicides, an average of 112 per year.

2021 is the sixth year in a series of violence spikes for the city.

“New York City for example, which is certainly not an apples to apples comparison, but New York City still has less than 25% of the homicides that it had at its all-time peak,” Crawford said. “Cities like LA and Chicago are like that and so are cities we more frequently compare ourselves to. Nashville has seen increases but they’re not at their all-time record yet. Raleigh-Durham (North Carolina), increases but not their all-time record yet. So Louisville on this record-setting pace year after year really is exceptional that way.”

Crimemapping.com tracks Louisville homicides in the month of June spilling south across the Watterson, covering a majority of the metro.

It continues a trend for 2021 bringing more death to more places quicker than ever before.

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