ATLANTA — Crime data shows Atlanta's homicide rate has increased over the last three consecutive years.
It jumped 60 percent from 2019 to 2020 -- then just slightly in 2021. Now, this year, the city is outpacing last year's numbers.
Community activist Shar Bates is often at crime scenes standing alongside grieving families. She was chosen as a panelist by former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for former President Barack Obama's 21st Century Policing Task Force.
Bates said people don't feel protected or served as she listed some of the main factors she believes may have contributed to the high rate.
"I think the dynamics of Atlanta changed, the political climate, and the fact that we went through this phase where everybody had money and reality has set in and food is high, gas is high, rent is astronomical," she said.
She said these stimulants are fueling the homicide rate along with others, such as the changing and growing population as people relocated to Atlanta or came to work here in the pandemic. The great economic divide, Bates said, can also create more crimes of opportunity. An example would be when major projects come to the city that often doesn't benefit residents in the neighborhood financially.
In addition, Bates said police don't always do the best job working with community organizers.
"I think that police need to find a way to work with the community organizations, the neighborhood associations, and the people that are actually advocates in those communities to find out what solutions are best for the areas," she said.
11Alive took the homicide data from 2021 and 2022 and mapped it out. The locations in blue are from last year while the markers in red are from 2022.