KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Kansas City is on track to break all previous homicide records in 2020.
The highest number of homicides in Kansas City in one year is 153 in 1993. So far this year, the city is at 144 and there are more than three months left.
The latest, a toddler murder while sitting in the backseat of his parent’s car, has outraged the community.
“That’s just normal, that’s just not seen in other cities,” said Dr. Ken Novak, a Criminologist with UMKC.
He tracks crime across the country.
Novak says crime is complicated. Almost all major cities are seeing a spike in crime since the pandemic which brought economic uncertainty and then again with the demonstrations over the summer. It may seem that people are turning to street justice this year, but, it’s been brewing for a while.
“We’ve seen an upward trajectory last several years. All of us get numb to this level of violence,” said Novak.
This snapshot tells the story.
Dr. Novak puts it in perspective. Kansas City’s murder rate among young black males is 477 per 100,000. The nationwide average is five per 100,000.
Another way to look at it is that it’s a higher rate than what soldiers faced in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“It’s somewhat shocking to realize it’s a higher risk of being killed in the neighborhood than a soldier in a war zone,” said Dr. Novak.