Washington, D.C. hits 200 homicides this year

The last time the nation's capital has this many homicides was 2004

Updated: November 23, 2021 - 10:20am

The District of Columbia has recorded its 200th homicide of the year, the first time the city has reached that number since 2004. 

The nation's capital reached the figure Monday night after an unidentified male was fatally shot in the city's Southwest quadrant.

Homicide rates in major U.S. cities across the country have risen 29% through September, compared with the same period last year.

For the seventh year in a row, murders in Baltimore surpassed 300, and Philadelphia is nearing the 500 mark, reaching 496 on Sunday. 

District officials say there is no one explanation for the increase in deadly violence but have offered explanations that include a slowed legal process due to the pandemic, more inmates being released from jail and unrest in already underserved areas. 

Police unions – including D.C.'s – argue the increases are the result of changes made to policing born out of the summer 2020 riots  in the wake of George Floyd being killing by a Minneapolis police officer. 

"The responsible policing that used to address this has been prohibited," tweeted the union represent D.C. police.

Other such arguments include budget cuts by the D.C. City Council making it difficult for the city police department to hire new officers for a year.

City police Chief Robert J. Contee III says several recent killings have taken place over trivial matters, including disputes between neighbors. 

He has pushed for increased accountability in the criminal justice system for those arrested, particularly those charged in gun-related crimes. 

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