Report: Data shows that number of solved murders across the nation is at its lowest in the last 50 years

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UNITED STATES – According to a report from CBS News, a review of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics shows that the murder “clearance rate” across the nation has fallen to its lowest point in nearly 50 years.

A “clearance rate” is the number of cases each year that are solved by police departments, which essentially means officers either make an arrest or close the case for other reasons.

Thomas Hargrove, who runs the Murder Accountability Project, which tracks unsolved murders nationwide, said in a statement:

“It’s a 50-50 coin flip. It’s never been this bad. During the last seven months of 2020, most murders went unsolved. That’s never happened before in America.”

According to a CBS News’ analysis, police are far less likely to solve a murder when the victim is black or Hispanic.

The data also reportedly show that in 2020, the murders of White victims were about 30 percent more likely t0 be solved than in cases of Hispanic victims, and about 50 percent more than when the victims were Black.

Of course the media was quick to turn this into a racial debate while ignoring the countless other factors involved, such as sheer number of black or Hispanic victims, violent crime in the inner cities that have been police-defunded, and a lack of willingness for victims to come forward.

Dozens of police and criminal justice experts from across the country offered a range of explanations for these trends.

Jackson, Mississippi, has suffered from one of the nation’s highest murder rates and in a city of about 160,000 people, the police department responded to 153 murders in the last year, but has only eight homicide detectives to work the caseload.

Police Chief James Davis said that his department needs more of everything to keep up with the violence. He added:

“The whole system is backlogged. I could use more police officers. I could use more homicide detectives, but if the state is backed up, the court is backed up. We will still have the same problem by developing these cases that we’re already doing.”

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FBI guidelines suggest homicide detectives should be covering no more than five cases at a time.

Police also stated that the breakdown in trust between their officers and the communities they serve, which was exemplified when anti-police advocates pushed the “defund the police” movement in several large cities across the nation, has made it harder for police to receive tips or get help from witnesses.

Danielle Outlaw, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, said that there is a “history of systemic inequities that contribute to the mistrust” in many communities most affected by crime.

When referring to past episodes of police misconduct, Outlaw added:

“We’ve gotten in our own way. It has to be a two-way street, as it is with any relationship.”

In 2020, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported a clearance rate of about 55 percent, which is slightly better than the national average. The LAPD recorded 351 homicides and 202, which was 36 percent more than 2021.

Chief Michael Moore pointed to that spike, along with the pandemic, as explanations for the city’s clearance rate. He also cited a lack of community trust in police that prevents potential witnesses from coming forward. Moore added:

“The solving of a crime, a homicide particularly, is dependent on community trusting police.”

There are some cities, however, that are reporting high murder clearance rates, like the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).

WBTV reported that data obtained from CMPD shows that the agency had a 83 percent homicide clearance rate in 2019, a 74 percent rate in 2020, and a 77 percent clearance rate in 2021.

Detective Rick Smith, the CMPD’s Crime Stoppers coordinator explained why the department’s clearance rates are higher than the national and state clearance rates. He said:

“First and foremost it’s the community, their willingness to step forward and provide us information to help us solve those crimes and we ask that they continue to support us.”

Smith also spoke about the challenges that some investigators may encounter when trying to crack a case. He explained:

“It we don’t have any cooperation from the community and we have little information to go on. That makes it kind of difficult to solve a crime.”

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Capital murder suspect, who’s bond was lowered from $500K to $1K, gets released from jail and within hours cuts ankle monitor off

June 24th, 2022

DALLAS, TX- Electronic ankle monitoring really is a false sense of security for the community because individuals, like the capital murder suspect who recently fled after being released from jail, simply cut his ankle monitor off and now there is a violent man on the run.

According to reports, within hours of being released from jail, James William Moore cut off his ankle monitor; he has been on the loose since Wednesday, June 22nd.

Moore has been in jail awaiting trial for nearly three years after being accused of being involved in the killing of a Dallas restaurant owner. He was released from jail after having his bond lowered to just $1,000 and was fitted with an ankle monitor.

Moore is accused of “acting as a ‘good eye’ and then becoming the get-away driver” during the September 2019 robbery murder at Cafe Delicious on South Lamar in Dallas.

Restaurant owner Brian Harp Sr. was shot and killed while shielding one of his employees after a group of four men with a gun entered and opened fire. Glen Larremore, a friend of the victim, said:

“I feel really bad about it because he was a friend of mine. I consider him a friend. If I felt like he deserve better than that.”

After sitting in jail for three years, Moore’s bond was lowered from $500,000 to a mere $1,000. He was released from the Dallas County Jail on June 17th. Documents reportedly state:

“On 6/18/2022 at 1:21 a.m., a ‘Tamper’ alert registered from the defendant’s GPS monitoring device indicating that the monitor may have been removed from his leg without authorization. All attempts to contact the defendant have been unsuccessful. As of this writing, the defendant’s whereabouts are unknown.”

The Dallas Police Association (DPA) said that this is just yet another example of a very disturbing patter in the court system. Sergeant Michael Mata with the DPA said in a statement:

“They know good and well they’re going to make that thousand dollar bond. They know good and well they are going to get home and reoffend, but they don’t care about the families that are wrecked. They don’t care about the victims.”

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The bond was lowered to $1,000 in the court of the 194th District by Judge Ernest White, whose office has yet to respond to comment from CBS News. The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office also decline CBS News’ questions, stating, “…we have no comment as this is a pending case.” Larremore said:

“I just hope they get him back in custody. I don’t feel like he needs to be out here.”

A law enforcement official who spoke with CBS 11 describes Moore as “dangerous as hell.” Texas is not the only state that is being too lenient on violent criminals.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, between the end of March and the end of April, there were 15 incidents in which someone violated ankle monitor terms, like cutting it off or draining the batteries purposely. Gilbert Gallegos of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) said:

“I want to say, you know, a couple weeks ago in a one-week period, there were seven. We don’t want to be looking back saying, ‘I wish we could have kept this guy off the streets.’ Everything should be done to keep them in jail until their trial.”

The department believes that more needs to be done when it comes to ankle monitor legislation and technology give the recent incidents. Gallegos said:

“I do not think you can stop everybody. You can’t legislate kind of what actions they’re going to take. So that’s why I think it’s important on the front end to determine who really should get ankle monitors.”

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Judge allows teen accused of two murders to get out of jail; requires suspect to only wear GPS monitor, obey curfew

March 26th, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — A teen who has been accused of murdering two people in separate situations was allowed to get out of jail as long as he wore a GPS monitor and respected a curfew.

Despite the state filing a pre-trial detention motion that indicated that the suspect, Adrian Avila, is a danger to the community, a judge ruled against it this past Tuesday.

According to a report by KRQE, Judge Stanley Whitaker ruled against the state, allowing Avila to be released only if a GPS monitor was available. The district attorney said his office plans to appeal the ruling.

Daily Mail reported:

“Adrian Avila, 18, walked out of prison Tuesday after Albuquerque district judge Stanley Whitaker ruled that prosecutors could not prove that Avila posed a threat to the community despite having evidence that linked the teen to two separate killings.

“He will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor at all times and must adhere to a curfew.

“Avila was granted his freedom thanks to the Arnold Tool, a risk assessment system that was developed by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

“It was deployed by courts in New Mexico and 2017, with the Arnold Foundation’s website saying that it seeks to ‘eliminate unjust pretrial detention and create a justice system where jail is only used when absolutely necessary.'”

According to Daily Mail’s report, research surrounding the risk assessment system supposedly showed that suspects who were considered low and medium risk were apt to commit more crimes if they were imprisoned for a long stretch.

The report further noted:

“The controversial tool helps judges to determine if defendants can be released on their own recognizance, released under strict measures or kept in custody as they await trial.

“The judicial system examines how the dangerous the accused suspect could be if they were to be released from custody and the possibility of them not skipping their trial hearings.

“But bail reform measures have come under extreme scrutiny in recent months, after suspects deemed safe to release committed severe crimes across the US, leading to allegations that supporters are more concerned about defendants’ rights than the safety of the general public.  

“Avila scored a 2 out of 7 on a scale for being a threat to society and was given 1 on a scale of failing to show up for trial.”

The background of Avila’s case involves an accusation that he and Anna Dukes lured a man through social media and then kidnapped him last February.

Avila was 17 and Dukes was 18 at the time of the incident.

"I'm being treated unfairly": Accused cop-killer complains that defense lawyers keep dropping his case

KRQE reported:

“Police say Dukes lured a man through social media. APD [Albuquerque Police Department] believes Dukes, along with Avila and two other suspects, held him at gunpoint–demanding cash, jewelry and a gun.

“They allegedly drove to his home and when they arrived, his brother, 24-year-old Elias Otero, came out of the house and threatened to shoot the suspects. Police say Avila then shot and killed Otero.

“Avila has also been charged for shooting and killing a man who was trying to buy a gun from a group he was with at a park near I-40 and Juan Tabo in 2020.”

Avila was charged with Otero’s murder and turned himself in on a warrant in December of 2021, according to a report by KOAT.

Last week, he was also charged with the murder of Donnie Brandon at Sandia Vista Park in August of 2020.

KOB4 reported:

“Avila appeared in court by video Tuesday, as prosecutors tried to make the case he was too dangerous to release from jail.

“In the end, Judge Whitaker said prosecutors had credible evidence to charge Avila for the crimes – but they didn’t prove no conditions of release could protect the community.

“Judge Whitaker granted Avila’s release on strict conditions, including GPS monitoring and curfew.”

Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez told KOB4:

“I think it’s frankly astonishing that somebody can stand accused of not just one, but two separate murders, pretty violent acts they’re brought before the court and they’re put back out on the streets.”

Torrez also said the result of Tuesday’s hearing was more evidence New Mexico’s law isn’t working, according to KOB4’s report:

“All I can say is if we’re not successful at detaining people that are accused of two separate homicides, who are we going to be able to detain under this framework?”

However, Defense Attorney Ahmad Assed disagreed and said the state failed, not the law.

KOB4 reported that Assed claimed prosecutors simply did not have the evidence that was needed to hold his client:

“No criminal history, no history of failure to appear, he’s got a family that he’s associated with that are law-abiding citizens, hard-working folks, he reached out to law enforcement and sought out the turn-in on his own, and quite frankly conditions have never been in place where we can say he’s ever violated conditions of the court.”

Assed further pointed out that while he understands the public might be upset, his client is presumed innocent:

“We don’t decide cases based on innuendo and DA’s closing arguments geared toward the eye of the media.

“That was the whole deal today, was just those notions of a closing argument or opening statement for the media’s purposes.

“It’s not for the court or the judge to discuss the details of the case. The judge must follow the law, and the law clearly requires the state to act.

“If the state does not act, and in this case, the state did not act, the court must follow the law.” 

DA Torrez said his office plans to file an appeal because it believes Whitaker did not make the right call.

KOB4 reported that the district attorney’s office hopes to convince the New Mexico Supreme Court they have the evidence required.

The Albuquerque Police Department was not happy about Avila’s release either.

On Twitter, the police department tweeted:

“A judge released a murder suspect from jail today on an ankle monitor. Adrian Avila is charged for 2 separate murders. Think about that. Two murders. This suspect is at the root of the gun violence we’re seeing in Albuquerque and the record number of homicides.

“Our officers and detectives are doing everything possible to investigate and arrest the people who are terrorizing our neighborhoods committing robberies and homicides with stolen guns.

“At the same time, we are getting reports of violent suspects cutting off their ankle monitors and left to roam the streets until we re-arrest them. This is beyond upsetting. This jeopardizes the safety of our community, including our officers.”

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