The Franklin County Coronor says there was a dramatic increase in the number of homicides in the first nine months of 2020, and the victims were disproportionately young Black men.
From January to September there were 132 murders, compared to 94 in the same time period in 2019 - a 40% increase.
75% of the victims were African-American, up from just under 60% percent the year before. The percentage of white victims dropped from 30% to 20%.
In the first nine months of 2020 nearly 44% were under 24 years old, up from 27.7 % in 2019. The most dramatic decrease came among people age 45 and above. The percentage of homicide victims in that age group dropped from 26.5% to 13.6%
Dr. Anahi Ortiz says the shift in demographics is not unique to Franklin County; she says similar increases are being reported in many large and midsize cities. A report prepared by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice surveyed 34 cities and found a 30% increase in homicides, as well as higher rates of aggravated assaults.