Birmingham, already the murder capital of Alabama, has joined a list of cities throughout the U.S. that have the highest homicide rate per capita. The city, over the last few years, has repeatedly landed in the top five of this group.
Law enforcement officials in these cities and throughout the state believe that there has been a nationwide uptick in homicides and that the trend is not specific to one area, but is happening throughout the country.
Everett Johnson, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Alabama, is one such official.
“I think … you can see a trend increased across our country as a whole,” he said. “Birmingham, just based off the the per capita (murders), I think that falls in line with what’s going on with the rest of our country for the past two or three years.”
Everett also questioned the bond process in the city.
“Based on my knowledge of Birmingham and similar cities, they have a very lenient bond process and pretty much a signature bond that let(s) you back out regardless of the crime,” he said. “When violent offenders aren’t locked away violence increases.”
A 12-year-old girl became one of the most recent victims of the violence taking place in the city. She was killed after 17 bullets were fired into the house she was sleeping in. The child was only a few days away from her 13th birthday.
In 2022, Birmingham experienced 144 homicides – the city’s most in decades. The weapons that were typically used in these murders were overwhelmingly firearms.
The record high for Birmingham was set in 1933 with 148 killings. The city’s lowest number of murders came in 1956, with a total of 56 cases.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.