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Murder rate in Washington, D.C., rises to highest level in almost 20 years

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Murder rate in Washington, D.C., rises to highest level in almost 20 years
Police tape is seen near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on November 17. Authorities say they have recovered 2,000 illegal guns so far this year, also surpassing last year's total. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The homicide rate in Washington, D.C., which for many years at the end of the 20th century was one of the most dangerous cities in the country, has risen to its highest level in almost two decades.

The district hit the milestone after its 200th homicide on Monday, the most since 2003. There were 179 homicides in Washington, D.C., in 2020.

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Authorities said they have recovered 2,000 illegal guns so far this year, also surpassing last year's total.

"The increase in crime has many causes, one of which being the D.C. Council's reactionary implementation of police 'reform' measures, the consequences of which were not properly considered," The D.C. Police Union said in a statement.

"Additionally, the council's continued desire to reduce the size and funding of the police department hangs like a dark cloud of our city."

The union said more than 400 officers have left the Washington, D.C., police force since June 2020, when the council passed emergency legislation that proposed reforms.

During the 1990s, Washington, D.C., had one of the highest murder rates in the United States. In 1991 alone, there were nearly 500 homicides.

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