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Report: Minneapolis violent crime increased by 21% in 2020

February 7, 2021 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say violent crimes in Minneapolis ballooned by 21% in 2020, a year marked by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests against racial injustice.

The city recorded 5,422 violent crime incidents, including homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, according to a preliminary year-end report by Minneapolis police. The city averaged 4,496 such crimes over the previous five years.

Property crime increased by 10%, the Star Tribune reported.

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A range of mental health experts and community leaders say that the increase in violence is unlikely due to any one reason, but most of them point to the COVID-19 outbreak as a key factor. That has left many jobless and struggling to pay their bills and has exacerbated the lack of affordable housing.

Although violent crime was trending upward through the first half of the 2020, it really took off after after the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere and led to similar surges in violent crime in other cities.