Move over Chicago, NYC, Los Angeles, St Louis, Memphis, Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and anywhere else you'd expect to find record breaking homicide.
So far this year Houston is number one.
New data reveals the City of Houston leads the nation’s top four largest cities in homicides so far this year.
New York City: 20 Homicides
Los Angeles: 26 Homicides (Jan. 22)
Chicago: 36 Homicides
Houston: 38 Homicides
Since January 23, additional murders have taken place in Houston.
According to HPD, there had been 41 homicides through the morning of January 25.
"If it keeps up this pace, we’re going to be well over 500 murders this year," said Houston Police Officers’ Union president Douglas Griffith. "I have family here. I grew up here. It’s one of those things, I’m fearful for my family, just to go out of the house."
Griffith believes the rise in violence across Houston is mainly the result of two issues. He says HPD is very understaffed and desperately needs to hire additional officers.
In addition, Griffith believes court judges need to stop letting violent criminals out of jail on bond.
"Felony arrests are up," said Griffith. "We’re going out there every day doing what we need to do, and the courts aren’t doing their job. It’s a fundamental breakdown that we can’t get over."
If you're shocked by this news, don't be. It's actually very easy to explain.
In 2019, shortly after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo took office, she helped lead the community to make radical changes to our bail bond system.
The result was catastrophic: record numbers of violent criminals being released onto the street with low bond fees. These people rarely returned for their follow-up court date and, according to Crime Stoppers Houston, would often commit more violent crimes shortly after being released.