From the New York Times’ data news section:
The switch in data collection will be a “leap forward,” but in the short term it may hurt the public’s ability to evaluate key trends during a volatile period.
By Jeff Asher, March 16, 2021
The big increase in the murder rate in the United States in 2020 has carried over to 2021.
A sample of 37 cities with data available for the first three months of this year shows murder up 18 percent relative to the same period last year.
That’s pretty bad because murders in the first 2.5 months of 2020 (i.e., before corona) in the U. of Pennsylvania tracking of 19 big cities were running at about 15% higher than the average for 2015-2019. This could have been just a fluke due to weather or smallish sample size, or maybe it was tied into something more meaningful that nobody noticed at the time.
… On Monday, the F.B.I. released preliminary statistics showing a major increase in murder last year, with a 25 percent rise in agencies that reported quarterly data. The F.B.I. did not receive data from several cities with known big increases in murder like New York, Chicago and New Orleans, but cities of all sizes reported increases of greater than 20 percent.
A 25 percent increase in murder in 2020 would mean the United States surpassed 20,000 murders in a year for the first time since 1995. …
Although it’s not clear what has caused the spike in murder, some possibilities are the various stresses of the pandemic; the surge in gun sales during the crisis; and less belief in police legitimacy related to protests over police brutality.
In other words, the Racial Reckoning.