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Despite what appears to be an increase in violent crime and murder in major U.S. cities, the FBI reports that those rates have dropped since last year.

The Uniform Crime report released the data in regards to the current turmoil between law enforcement and communities of color. In an effort to create better tactics and improve police interactions, FBI Director James Comey requested data on homicides that were deemed justifiable by law enforcement from various law agencies.

“The FBI report shows a 0.2% decline nationwide in violent crimes in 2014, with more than 11 million arrests made by police for almost a half-million violent crimes,” according to CNN:

The report says that in 2014 the U.S. recorded the fewest murders since 2009. Most other violent crimes, such as robbery, burglary, theft and arson have declined, while aggravated assaults and rapes, which now includes a broader definition, were on the rise in 2014.

However, these numbers do not represent this year’s increase in murder and other violent crimes reported in various cities.

According to Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates:

“We have witnessed a remarkable drop in crime since the 1980’s — both violent crime and crime overall. Entire cities have been transformed, unlocking tremendous potential and releasing a wave of prosperity,” Yates said, adding that “even though crime is trending downward in most places, we are seeing pockets of rising violence in various locations across the country.”

Marijuana legalization advocates in the U.S. note that there were over 700,000 arrests made by the FBI, an increase from 693,000 in 2013. Via a statement from the Marijuana Policy Project:

“While law enforcement was busy making nearly three quarters of a million marijuana arrests, more than 35% of murders went unsolved (and) the clearance rate for rape was less than 40%.”

The FBI holds statistics on justifiable homicides, but does not receive all data on the number from every police department, as many do not voluntarily give out this information. The agency aims for police to be open about interactions with civilians that end in violence, along with an emphasis on hate crimes and human trafficking arrests.

Comey hopes the FBI can create a publication focusing on police shootings in order, “to help dispel misperceptions, foster accountability, and promote transparency in how law enforcement personnel relate to the communities they serve,” according to the report. 



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