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Washington, DC, records back-to-back years with 200 murders for first time in nearly 20 years

(WASHINGTON) — Washington, D.C., reached its 200th homicide for a second straight year when a man was shot and killed Thursday night in the northeast part of the city.

According to the D.C. police union representing the Metropolitan Police Department, this is the first time since 2002 and 2003 that the city has experienced back-to-back years with more than 200 homicides.

There were 226 homicides in 2021, 198 in 2020 and 166 in 2019. In the last 20 years, homicides were at their lowest in 2012, when there were only 88 homicides.

However, crime in many instances is down from 2021, according to Metropolitan Police data as of Dec. 29.

Homicides are down roughly 12% from last year. Assault with a deadly weapon is down 16%. Burglary and theft from auto is down 11% and 10% respectively.

However, motor vehicle thefts and robberies are up by 7% and 2%, respectively.

“All crimes are down by 6,548 citywide during the past 2 years when compared to the previous 2 years,” according to MPD’s Crime map.

The police union said certain reforms – including chokehold bans, the improvement of public access to body camera footage and expanded civilian review boards – are responsible for the high homicide numbers.

The union also pointed to an exodus of “over 600 officers” from the Metropolitan Police Department.

“The Police Union remains dedicated to working with the DC Council and other elected officials to find positive ways in which we can achieve meaningful police reform while also keeping communities safe from violent crime,” the union said. “We hope these years of tragic, but largely avoidable loss of life does not go unnoticed.”

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