BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (KTSA News) — With stay-at-home orders and a pandemic, San Antonio — along with other large cities — are seeing an increase in murders in 2020.
The San Antonio Express-News reports homicides have increased 34 percent so far this year compared to last year. Murders have also increased in Houston, Austin, and Fort Worth.
The Wall Street Journal said the nation’s 50 biggest cities have seen a 24 percent increase in the first of this year compared to last.
Other violent crimes have also increased in San Antonio.
University of Texas at Dallas criminology professor Robert Taylor told the San Antonio paper there are a lot of factors leading to this increase, though it is too early to tell if this is actually a trend.
Taylor said the mix of people being cooped up because of the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-police rhetoric — plus the political and economic turmoil — have empowered criminal gangs to take advantage of the situation.
“The criminal gangs that are out there are taking this time to gain strides against law enforcement,” Taylor said. “We see more battles for turf. We see more gangs taking over certain marketplaces, using violence and inciting violence.”
Family violence spurred on by the effects of the pandemic could also be leading an increase in violent crime in San Antonio.