Seattle police recorded 50 homicides in 2020, more than in any of the past 26 years and 61% more than in 2019, according to a memo released Monday by the city's police chief, Adrian Diaz.
"This was the highest number of murders in 26 years," Diaz wrote in the memo. "This is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this level of violence."
Half of the people who died were black. Most were men ages 18-49, and 60% of the killings were committed with a gun.
"I'm not going to go into the multiple theories I'm aware of for why we and other cities had such a large one-year increase," Diaz wrote. "There's no one clear explanation. But I do know the department is working to decrease the violence."
🔦 In August, Seattle's City Council approved a plan to cut the police department's budget by $3 million in 2020, and to reduce the number of officers on the force by 100. Then-Police Chief Carmen Best resigned over the plan.