Violent Crime in U.S. is down and other reports from Ferguson, MO

Violent Crime in the U.S. is down and other reports from Ferguson, MO

Violent crime in the United States, including murders, fell 4.4 percent in 2013 to its lowest level since the 1970s, extending the downward trend of several decades, said Monday FBI. The annual report on crime in the agency of the law showed that the country had an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes the lowest figure, from 1.09 million reported in 1978.

All types of violent crimes declined, murder and manslaughter fell 4.4 percent to 14,196 cases, the lowest level since 1968. Rapes declined 6.3 percent and robberies fell 2.8 percent, the data showed the FBI. James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston, said there are several factors behind the drop in violent crime in recent decades, including the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.

He said an ageing population and improved police tactics also played a role, along with an increased use of security cameras and the widespread use of phones to record videos.

“It is difficult for criminals to do anything without being caught on video,” Fox said.

The violent crime rate last year was 367.9 per 100,000 population, a decrease compared to 2012. The rate has fallen every year since at least 1994, the farthest year for which the FBI has data readily accessible and the rate of 2013 was about half of 1994.

The property crime fell 4.1 percent to an estimated 8.63 million last year, the eleventh consecutive declines. Losses from property crimes, excluding arson, were estimated at 16.600 million, the FBI said.

Speaking of violent crimes in the U.S., a report says policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, committed human rights abuses when he tried to suppress largely peaceful protests that arose after a police officer killed an unarmed black teenager, Amnesty International said Friday.

A report by the organization in defence of human rights said US authorities should investigate the agents for abuses that occurred during a full week of racial protests that arose after the white police officer fired Wilson Darren Ferguson and killed Michael Brown, 18, on August 9.

Your use of agents of rubber bullets, tear gas and heavy military equipment and restrictions on peaceful demonstrators violated international standards, the group said. Amnesty said it had sent a delegation to Ferguson between 14 and 22 August to review the situation.

When asked about the claims, Brian Shellman, a spokesman for the Police Department of St. Louis, who helped oversee the police operation in Ferguson County, said police “had a mission, and was the preservation of life.” The report also criticizes a Missouri law that, according to the group, it may be unconstitutional because it allows police to use deadly force against someone even if there is no imminent threat of injury.

“Lethal force is used only to protect life when there is an immediate threat,” said Rachel Ward, research director at Amnesty International. The Justice Department is investigating Brown’s death and the Police Department of Ferguson.

Witnesses and officials have said that Brown and discussed Wilson after Wilson Brown to tell him to stop and not continue to walk in the middle of a street. Wilson shot Brown six times. Some witnesses have said that Brown had his hands up in surrender when the officer fired the last shots.

“Michael Brown was unarmed, so it was unlikely to have been a serious life threatening issue with the police officer,” said the report.

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