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2020 marks Cincinnati’s deadliest year with homicides, shootings on the rise


With just three days left in 2020, the number of homicides and shootings in Cincinnati have already broken records, marking the city's deadliest year.So far, there have been at least 90 homicides and at least 484 shootings.Police and community leaders hope to reverse the trend in 2021.They said there are a number of factors leading to this outcome, including the pandemic, job loss and in some cases, a lack of even basic necessities.Community outreach advocates said it has been harder to address these needs from a distance.At one homicide scene in Cincinnati, neighbors echoed how exhausting and overwhelming violence has become along their streets.Yet the same heartbreak has been felt across the Queen City, as 484 shootings, with 85 of them deadly, shatter a struggling society in the face of the pandemic."Right now, they're on defense mode, and not only defense mode, survival mode, and that's what's happening right now on the streets," Pastor Peterson Mingo said.Mingo works with the Cincinnati Police God Squad on those very streets, trying to connect with the disconnected.He said a feeling of togetherness, of community, has been nearly muted by COVID-19."Because of the pandemic, a lot of that is gone, and now, people who basically could be talked down of basically doing the things that they were thinking about doing and not having that buffer, someone to come there and basically mediate the situation for them," Mingo said.City of Cincinnati data sheds light on homicides in past years.In 2017, there were 73 homicides.In 2018, there were 61 homicides.Last year, there were 74 homicides.In 2020, there's been a nearly 22% increase from 2019, with at least 90 homicides.As of Sunday, data we calculated shows Cincinnati outranks Chicago at 29.6 homicides per 100,000 people.Chicago has counted 772 homicides in the same time-frame, which equates to 28.66 homicides per 100,000 people.The city reported 475 homicides in mid-December 2019.Police said connecting with the community through gun violence outreach workers, as well as work by the Gun Crimes Task Force will be a big part of efforts to reduce violence in 2021.More than 1,400 illegal or stolen guns have been recovered this year compared to 1,057 guns in 2019, according to CPD.Mingo said while this increase in gun violence is not a uniquely Cincinnati issue, it is a cry for help."It's nationwide, and if it's nationwide, then there's a common problem," he said.Mingo said people are struggling to pay bills, feed their families and survive, and he fears for what the city may look like on the other side of the pandemic when assistance fades.He hopes to see a more connected 2021 to stop the violence.Cincinnati police said they also plan to strengthen partnerships with federal officials to help curb shootings.They said oftentimes, shootings are sparked by risky behaviors, gambling in the streets and drugs by a small number of people.

With just three days left in 2020, the number of homicides and shootings in Cincinnati have already broken records, marking the city's deadliest year.

So far, there have been at least 90 homicides and at least 484 shootings.

Police and community leaders hope to reverse the trend in 2021.

They said there are a number of factors leading to this outcome, including the pandemic, job loss and in some cases, a lack of even basic necessities.

Community outreach advocates said it has been harder to address these needs from a distance.

At one homicide scene in Cincinnati, neighbors echoed how exhausting and overwhelming violence has become along their streets.

Yet the same heartbreak has been felt across the Queen City, as 484 shootings, with 85 of them deadly, shatter a struggling society in the face of the pandemic.

"Right now, they're on defense mode, and not only defense mode, survival mode, and that's what's happening right now on the streets," Pastor Peterson Mingo said.

Mingo works with the Cincinnati Police God Squad on those very streets, trying to connect with the disconnected.

He said a feeling of togetherness, of community, has been nearly muted by COVID-19.

"Because of the pandemic, a lot of that is gone, and now, people who basically could be talked down of basically doing the things that they were thinking about doing and not having that buffer, someone to come there and basically mediate the situation for them," Mingo said.

City of Cincinnati data sheds light on homicides in past years.

In 2017, there were 73 homicides.

In 2018, there were 61 homicides.

Last year, there were 74 homicides.

In 2020, there's been a nearly 22% increase from 2019, with at least 90 homicides.

As of Sunday, data we calculated shows Cincinnati outranks Chicago at 29.6 homicides per 100,000 people.

Chicago has counted 772 homicides in the same time-frame, which equates to 28.66 homicides per 100,000 people.

The city reported 475 homicides in mid-December 2019.

Police said connecting with the community through gun violence outreach workers, as well as work by the Gun Crimes Task Force will be a big part of efforts to reduce violence in 2021.

More than 1,400 illegal or stolen guns have been recovered this year compared to 1,057 guns in 2019, according to CPD.

Mingo said while this increase in gun violence is not a uniquely Cincinnati issue, it is a cry for help.

"It's nationwide, and if it's nationwide, then there's a common problem," he said.

Mingo said people are struggling to pay bills, feed their families and survive, and he fears for what the city may look like on the other side of the pandemic when assistance fades.

He hopes to see a more connected 2021 to stop the violence.

Cincinnati police said they also plan to strengthen partnerships with federal officials to help curb shootings.

They said oftentimes, shootings are sparked by risky behaviors, gambling in the streets and drugs by a small number of people.


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