Florida Goes Against National Trend in 2021 Murders

February 14, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

The Pandemic’s Silver Lining – Florida Goes Against National Trend in 2021 Murders

Florida may be a part of a positive trend coming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there were a lot of negative outcomes from the pandemic’s outbreak, one silver lining is that the number of murders decreased in several major Florida counties from 2020 to 2021.

Considering the pandemic changed the way people lived their day-to-day lives, it makes sense that it would cause changes in the range of crimes committed as well. Such changes included many people working remotely from home and refraining from going out to bars, clubs, events, etc. As a result, there were less chances for people to get into altercations, ultimately lessening the chance for violent crimes to occur.

The following blog reviews the statistics on murder and violent crimes over the last year and discusses how the reduced opportunities for such crimes have positively impacted Florida.

Murder Statistics 2020-2021

Dr. Vaughn Crichlow from Florida Atlantic University works with the College of Social Work and Criminal Justice Department. He provided the following statistics, and claims that the pandemic, “Could explain, in part, a decrease in crime in some Florida regions.”

The following is a list of Florida counties and their number of murders from 2020-2021:

  • Miami-Dade County: In 2020 there were 290 recorded murders, whereas in 2021 there were only 250 recorded murders.
  • Broward County: In 2020 there were 158 recorded murders, whereas in 2021 there were 154 recorded murders.
  • Orange County: In 2020 there were 138 recorded murders, whereas in 2021 there were only 117 recorded murders.

While it may not be a huge difference, it is still significant that the numbers have decreased in some of Florida’s largest municipalities.

How Does Florida Compare to Other States?

Several other U.S. cities saw an increase in violent crimes and murder from 2020 to 2021. New York’s number of murders increased from 462 to 488, and Los Angeles saw an increase from 343 to 397.

Chicago, Illinois, has been regarded as one of the most violent cities in America for the past few years. It has become a city synonymous with gun violence and murder, and in the year 2021 it led the U.S. in the greatest number of murders with a staggering 797.

According to a report by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ), homicide rates soared in several U.S. cities in 2021. There was a 5% increase from 2020 and a 44% increase from 2019. The study analyzed 22 national cities, including the following:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Memphis
  • San Francisco
  • Washington D.C
  • Philadelphia

One Florida city that was listed in the study with a drastic increase in murders was St. Petersburg, Florida, which experienced an overall increase of 108% from 2020.

In the CCJ’s most recent study, they have updated their research on crime in the U.S. since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the number of homicides in 2021 was 5% higher in cities than it was in the previous year of 2020, with a representation of 218 additional murders.

For the full report, you can read the CCJ’s 2021 Year-End Update here.

Florida Counties with Higher Levels of Violent Crimes

For certain Florida counties, crime rates have gone up. In both Hillsborough and Palm Beach County, there have been slightly higher records of violent crimes from 2020 to 2021. Hillsborough County had 108 recorded murders in 2020, and 110 recorded murders in 2021. Palm Beach County had 109 recorded murders in 2021, and 109 recorded murders in 2021. The fact that both increases are relatively miniscule is a good sign.

How Violent Crimes Affect Families

When a violent crime occurs in a town—especially a murder—it has long lasting effects. To family, friends, and colleagues of the person who was killed, it may seem like a never-ending road of grief and suffering.

Allison Kessler, the mother of 4-year-old Greyson, talked about the aftermath of her son’s death: “There is no recovery. I will never be ok and never be the same person.” Greyson was killed in a murder-suicide by Allison’s ex-husband John Stacy, in Fort Lauderdale back in May. After her son’s death, Allison has been working towards passing Greyson’s Law (Senate Bill 1106). The law is meant to make it easier for parents to protect their child from the other parent if they are in danger. The bill would require courts to provide clear and convincing evidence of certain conduct to create a rebuttable presumption that shared parental responsibility isn’t in the best interest of the child.

The Miya Marcano case (link to blog) received global attention last year when 19-year-old Miya was murdered in her own apartment by an employee who had been trying to make advances on her. Miya’s family has since been pushing for Miya’s Law to be passed in their daughter’s honor. The law would reform the employee hiring process and require greater research be conducted for employee background checks.

With an event so catastrophic as a murder in the family, it makes sense that the remaining family members of these victims are seeking reform in the system.

How to Help Report a Violent Crime

Whether it be during Covid times or long after, one of the best ways to try and reduce murder—or any crime for that matter—is to work towards building a strong community. This can also help make citizens feel safer in their homes and build trust for those who are serving the community.

As far as reporting a violent crime, it is imperative to contact the authorities if you have seen or heard anything about a specific crime. Even if you are wary of reaching out to the police, there are some ways to report a crime anonymously. Crime Stoppers is a method online where citizens can anonymously report a crime to the police. The benefit is that the website helps alleviate the stress of possible retaliation for reporting.

In an email, Lauderhill police chief Constance Stanley stated, “This method works, and I have seen it used more often than not. I personally review these tips and appreciate those who take advantage of it.”

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one have been accused of a violent crime, your first move should be reaching out to a skilled criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee, FL. Getting charged with a violent crime has serious consequences, such as expensive fines or potential jail time. Receiving the right legal help can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients across the state of Florida for various crimes. They understand what it takes and will explore all applicable defenses to your case. Call (850) 681-7777 and receive a free consultation regarding your case today.

Article written by Karissa Key

Back to Top