Experts cite many other reasons for the increase, including people living together longer, police departments struggling to quarantine their officers, an increase in homelessness and reduced access to some mental health services. Although data for 2021 have not yet been released, homicide rates in 87 cities this year are about 10 percent higher than last year, Jeff Asher, a New Orleans criminalist, told the Times. The reasons for the rise in crime are not entirely clear, but they could be the increase in gun purchases and the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health and the economy, the Times said. There were fewer homicides in big cities than in the worst years, but more in mid-sized cities like Albuquerque, Milwaukee, Tulsa (Oklahoma) and Des Moines (Iowa). Some also suggest that the protests after George Floyd’s murder caused vigilantes to abandon some aspects of crime-fighting or reduced public confidence, forcing them to take the law into their own hands. “This is a country where everyone suffers from post-CSVID trauma syndrome and doesn’t know what to expect,” Peter Winograd, a University of New Mexico professor who works as a consultant for the Albuquerque Police Department, told the Times. A breakdown of the numbers shows that of the 2,020 deaths, 9,913 were black, 7,029 were white, 497 were of another race, 315 were of an unknown race, 14,146 were men and 3,573 were women. A smaller percentage of deaths occurred on the parallel coasts of the major cities of New York and Los Angeles, which accounted for nearly 14% of U.S. homicides in 1990 and only 3.8% in 2020. While the 2021 numbers remain high, they seem likely to decline as the year progresses, the New York Times reports. It cites the pandemic, the impact of social justice protests and bail reform that has led to the release of more convicted felons in some cities. “It’s a perfect storm,” Harold Medina, police chief of Albuquerque, N.M., told the Times. About 21,500 people were killed last year, according to 16,000 police departments nationwide. Overall, statistics show that crimes, including rape, armed robbery, burglary and auto theft, fell by about 5 percent in 2020. Despite the sharp increase, the numbers are still well below the violence of the 1990s, The Times reported. There were 4,901 more murders in 2020 than in 2019, according to the data.