SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The number of homicides in the city of Sacramento and within in the county have gone up, according to county records.
According the coroner’s office, there were 93 homicides in Sacramento County in 2018 and 92 in 2019. In the past decade, the coroner’s office says 90 to 95 homicides has been the average.
But so far in 2020 there have been 115 — an increase of more than 20%.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office says the reason is a combination of the pandemic causing an increase in domestic violence and an unrelated uptick in gang activity since July.
However, not everyone agrees that gang activity is to blame.
“The mall wasn’t gang-related. The cemetery wasn’t gang-related. The park wasn’t gang-related,” activist Berry Accius said.
Accius runs Voice of Youth, an organization that works to prevent violence.
“When you talk about doing the work of intervention and prevention you find out a lot of these situations are very isolated, so it has nothing to really do with gang wars per se,” Accius told FOX40.
He says the pandemic has made prevention more difficult, but it’s economic impact is further hurting many parts of the county that were already struggling.
“A lot of the opportunities that young people have, there’s less opportunities,” Accius said. “Right now, everything has shifted. Everything has changed in everyone’s life. So, I think a lot of young people unfortunately are utilizing this.”
Accius points out that gun violence is also up across the country. He believes some are blaming the increase on gang violence to further an agenda.
“And that agenda is ‘We need more police. We need more police equipment. We need more this. We need more that,’” Accius said. “And I think that’s false. As well as being false, that’s very dangerous.”
Closed community centers, youth sports on hold and schools being virtual could be more reasons homicide numbers were up this year.