(NEW YORK) — Police departments across the country are seeing a surge in crime, higher than they have seen in years.
Cities such as Houston, St. Louis, New Orleans and Baltimore have all had upticks in their homicide numbers so far this year.
In Baltimore, after Freddie Gray died in police custody in April, arrests in the city plummeted, and May was the deadliest month the city had seen in over 40 years.
According to ABC News consultant and former FBI agent Brad Garrett, police officers may be concerned public officials “don’t have their back” anymore.
“They feel if they are more aggressive with people they can end up getting prosecuted, and in certain communities does that may have some effect on how pro-active law enforcement is functioning, the answer is yes,” Garrett said.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts over his handling of the riots that erupted following Freddie Gray’s death.
In New York City, the police department’s ‘stop-and-frisk’ law was declared unconstitutional in 2013 for targeting minorities.
However, the increase in crime could be the result of a mix of factors including tighter budgets and cutbacks, according to Garrett.
“The number of gangs in a particular community,” Garrett added. “Are they fighting at this particular point? Do they have police that can adequately investigate the long term cases of gangs, etc? All of the things play into who gets arrested, who gets taken off the street, and in certain types of crimes that becomes important.”
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