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Atlanta Police's claim on homicides decreasing since April needs context

Last week, Atlanta's interim police chief Darin Schierbaum said the city's homicide rate has declined since April.

ATLANTA — The first week of August just wrapped up and Atlanta Police Department detectives are investigating at least seven homicide cases.

Last week, Atlanta's interim police chief Darin Schierbaum said the city's homicide rate has declined since April.

"When you look at the homicide trends, they've been decreasing since April of this year," he said during an impromptu news conference. Schierbaum was offering an update on the day's three separate shootings at the time.

11Alive looked into this claim.

THE QUESTION

Has Atlanta's homicide trends decreased since April 2022?

SOURCES

WHAT WE FOUND

In April, APD reports investigating 17 homicide cases. 

When you tally up the cases from May, June and July, the numbers do show a decrease in the total number of homicide cases per month. 

  • April: 17
  • May: 5
  • June: 16
  • July: 4
  • August: 8   

THE ANSWER

So, while we can verify homicide cases have decreased since April, the claim needs a bit more context. 

For the past three years in a row, the FBI shows the number of murders in Atlanta increasing. 

However, it's far from the record number we saw in the late 80s and early 90s. The FBI's database shows there were 249 homicides, which was the record in 1989. 

According to APD's numbers, the city is outpacing last year's homicide numbers. 

Interim Chief Schierbaum blames the violence on anger. 

"But moments of anger? That is why we're appealing to the citizens. We can't stop moments of anger," he said. 

If you have any information that can help solve any of these cases, you can call  CrimeStoppers at (404) 577-8477.

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