ATLANTA — A headline proclaimed Atlanta has seen the third biggest jump in its homicide rate compared to other U.S. cities since the pandemic began.
The Wallet Hub study ranks only New Orleans and Cincinnati as having larger increases than Atlanta.
11Alive is taking a look at the data to verify the claim.
Does Atlanta have the third highest homicide rate increase in the U.S.?
Yes. Atlanta has the third highest homicide rate increase, but most of those crimes aren’t targeting random people.
WHAT WE FOUND
The Wallet Hub study used data law enforcement agencies report to track and compare homicide rates across the U.S. The data from Atlanta shows 53 homicides so far this year; that's a 47% increase since this time last year.
"I am not surprised by the number," said Johnson. "It aligns with our research across the country, but it does not tell the full number and does a disservice when we are trying to make policy."
Johnson said what the study fails to show is that most of the crimes aren’t random.
"Most of these crimes are committed in a specific geographic area. And the circumstances, it's not like it's stranger on stranger, these are acquaintances. They also don't talk about domestic violence," he added. "The things that happen behind closed doors that no one talks about that have gotten worse during the pandemic."
Atlanta Police have told 11Alive around 50% of the homicides this year in Atlanta are between acquaintances and other types of violent crimes have gone down.
"Without context it creates fear," Johnson said. "And when you have fear, it impacts how people live. It impacts neighborhood vitality, it impacts whether I am going to go to the grocery store when the sun is up or when the sun is down. So, it's important that these stats are getting proper context.
Even taking all of that in to consideration, he said, yes, the numbers do add up. So, yes, can verify Atlanta has the third highest homicide rate increase. However, most of those crimes aren’t targeting random people.
This violent problem is not unique to Atlanta. Wallet Hub found homicides rates are rising across the country.
APD has previously outlined measures they're taking to bring crime down, like the fugitive unit and their partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia State Patrol.
On Wednesday, APD pointed out that crime data is published on their website weekly and it's free for anyone to check out themselves.
To get more information about the other cities in the study, click here.