Last fall, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) published crime data from 2019 which showed another uptick in murders – which were already at a five-year high in the Palmetto State.
This week, this bad news is expected to get worse as SLED chief Mark Keel reveals preliminary data from 2020.
According to a media advisory, Keel will join sheriffs, police chiefs and other law enforcement leaders at a press conference at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) on Thursday to “release preliminary 2020 crime data statistics showing a significant increase in violent crime” in the Palmetto State.
Included within this “significant increase?” A huge spike in murders, according to one law enforcement source familiar with the data.
The source declined to elaborate on the specific numbers associated with this spike, but called the increase in murders “significant” – which is consistent with prior warnings from Keel.
According to the 2019 data, there were 441 murders in South Carolina – up from 408 in 2018. That is an 8.1 percent increase, but due to population growth the murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants of the state climbed by 6.7 percent. From 2010-2019, murders in South Carolina soared by 66.4 percent – with the rate per 100,000 inhabitants climbing by 49.8 percent. The rate of 0.9 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019 was also the highest recorded since 1994.
In releasing the 2019 data last October, Keel sounded an ominous tone for 2020.
“I’m concerned that these numbers may go even higher due to the many stresses we have faced so far in 2020,” Keel said at the time.
Looks like he was correct …
I will save my sermonizing for the release of the data, but suffice it to say my website has been leading the way in calling out those within the Palmetto State’s judicial branch of government who have been consistently coddling violent criminals. Or trampling on victims’ rights. I have also consistently pushed to fund law enforcement and prosecutorial functions in a manner commensurate with their status as a core function of government.
State lawmakers and governor Henry McMaster have failed to heed this advice … and now they have blood on their hands as a result.
How much blood? We will find out tomorrow …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Magnum P.I.-style Detroit Tigers’ road lid pictured above).
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