FBI: Murders Up 4,901 in 2020, Black Share of Known Murder Offenders Reaches Record 56.5%

The FBI has finally released its 2020 Uniform Crime Reporting data from most (but, as usual, not all) of the law enforcement agencies in the U.S. I concentrate on murders, the most accurately reported crime.

Murders and non-negligent manslaughters were up a record-crushing 29.4%, in-line with my January 6, 2021 estimate: “Therefore, the national figure is perhaps in the 25 to 30 percent growth range, double the worst year previously recorded, 1968.”

In the FBI’s expanded homicide data, the black share of known murder offenders increased to a new record of 56.52%.

But, the big news is that while the number of known murder offenders (who can therefore be tabulated racially) increased by 17.3 percent, the number of Unknown murder offenders grew 36.0%. Traditionally, murders in black neighborhoods tend to have the lowest clearance rate, what with snitches getting stitches.

So the black share of murder offenders likely went up even more.

As usual, the FBI stats sloppily lump together Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites into a white supercategory that is out of sync with how most government agencies think about race and ethnicity over the last generation. Hence, I just look at black vs. nonblack (white, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, etc).

With the new 2020 Census, a somewhat sizable delta has opened up between the percentage of people who say they are racially black and nothing else (12.4%, including black Hispanics) versus people who say they are either all black or also black and something else (14.2%).

Which definition of black are the cops using when they charge somebody with murder? I dunno … probably some use one way, some another.

If you use the more expansive latter figure for the at least partially racially black population of 14.2%, then the ratio of black (and blackish) known murder offenders to nonblack known murder offenders in 2020 was 8.4 to 1. (If use use the more restrictive black-only figure of 12.4%, you get a black to non-black ratio of 9.8 to 1.)

Incredibly, even the the lower (at least part-black) ratio of 8.4 to one is a little higher than the the per capita male to female known murder offender ratio of 7.5 to 1.

(I’m guessing that women get away undetected with murder less often than men do, since they seldom rob strangers and a large fraction of their murders are domestics. So the male to female ratio is probably higher among unknown offenders than among known offenders.)

I wonder if blacks average more murder offenders per murder than do nonblacks? E.g., are all three guys in the car charged with the drive-by murder? White killers tend to be solitary decision-makers — in most levels of white society, “Hey, let’s go murder a guy” is not a popular suggestion. But, if true, how that would impact these ratios is a hard question.

FBI 2020 Uniform Crime Reporting: Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter Offenders
2019201920202020Chg %Chg #
% of Known% of Known
Total Murders16,66921,57029.4%4,901
Murders Reported in Expanded Homicide Data14,54817,81522.5%3,267
Total Murder Offenders reported17,17921,06122.6%3,882
Unknown Murder Offenders4,8626,61236.0%1,750
Known Murder Offenders12,317100.00%14,449100.00%17.3%2,132
Black or African American6,80955.28%8,16656.52%19.9%1,357
White (incl most Hispanics)5,14641.78%5,86640.60%14.0%720
American Indian or Alaska Native1781.45%2151.49%20.8%37
Asian1431.16%1541.07%7.7%11
Native Hawaiian410.33%480.33%17.1%7
All Known Nonblack Offenders5,5086,283775
All Known Black Offenders6,8098,1661,357
Share of Population: Black Alone12.4%12.4%
Share of Population: Some Black14.2%14.2%
Per Capita Known Murder Offender Ratio: Black Alone to Nonblack9.39.8
Ratio: Some Black to Nonblack8.08.4
Unknown Offender Sex6,242
Known Offender Sex14,819100.00%
Male13,07888.25%
Female1,74111.75%
Ratio: Male to Female7.5
# of police depts sending in Expanded Homicide Data15,33418,67415,87518,623541
% Coverage82.1%85.2%

The percentage of police departments that submitted expanded homicide data in 2020 was up 3 percentage points over 2019, but still missed 15% of LEOs.

For example, although Louisiana has had the highest murder rate for the last 30 years, some analysts suspect that if more Mississippi PDs bothered to send in their numbers, Mississippi would be #1 with a bullet.

Here are the statistics on the number of victims:

FBI 2020 Uniform Crime Reporting: Victims of Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter
2019201920202020Chg %Chg #
% of Known% of Known
Total Murders16,66921,57029.4%4,901
Murders Reported in Expanded Homicide Data14,54817,81522.5%3,267
Total Murder Victims reported14,54817,81522.5%3,267
Unknown Murder Victims23232037.9%88
Known Murder Victims14,316100.00%17,495100.00%22.2%3,179
Black or African American7,77754.3%9,94156.8%27.8%2,164
White (incl most Hispanics)6,09342.6%7,04340.3%15.6%950
American Indian or Alaska Native1791.3%2401.4%34.1%61
Asian2401.7%2361.3%-1.7%-4
Native Hawaiian270.2%350.2%29.6%8
All Known Nonblack Victims6,53945.7%7,55443.2%15.5%1,015
All Known Black Victims7,77754.3%9,94156.8%27.8%2,164
Share of Population: Black Alone12.4%12.4%
Share of Population: Some Black14.2%14.2%
Ratio: Black Alone to Nonblack9.010.0
Ratio: Some Black to Nonblack7.78.5
Unknown Victim Sex3137
Known Victim Sex14,517100.00%17,778100.00%
Male1136778.30%14,19479.84%
Female315021.70%3,58420.16%
Ratio: Male to Female3.64.0
# of police depts sending in Expanded Homicide Data15,33418,67415,87518,623541
% Coverage82.1%85.2%

Murder victims went up less in the 85% of police departments that submitted Expanded Homicide Data to the FBI (+22.2%) than nationwide (+29.4%). Among those departments, black victims were up by 2,164 dead bodies compared to an increase of 1,015 murder victims across all nonblacks.

So blacks made up 68.1% of incremental murder victims in 2020, the year of the Racial Reckoning.

Heckuva a job, Black Lives Matter!

Interestingly, the number of Asian murder victims fell ever so slightly in 2020 over 2019, despite all the talk about Trump mentioning the “Chinese flu” causing a wave of anti-Asian violence.

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