Gov. Edwards touts decrease in Louisiana murder rate

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is touting the FBI’s latest crime statistics showing the murder rate in the state is dropping faster than it is on the national level.

According to 2018 crime statistics released by the FBI Monday, the number of violent crimes reported per 100,000 people in Louisiana is down 3.4% from 2017. The rate of murders is down 7.8%. There were 530 murders and nonnegligent manslaughters reported in 2018, compared to 576 in 2017.

Nationally, violent crime is down 3.6% and murder is down 6.8%.

“We also saw decreases in property crime, including robbery,” Edwards said in a statement Monday. “While there is still too much crime, we are moving toward a safer, less violent future. I commend the local, state and federal law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”

Gov. Edwards also noted in his statement Monday that the statistics reflect the first full year of FBI data after the passage of criminal justice reform he signed into law in 2017.

“The decrease in violent crime reaffirms what Republicans, Democrats, faith leaders, business leaders, and law enforcement officials said at the time of reform’s passage: we can make our state safer with commonsense reforms that focus on non-violent offenders and invest in crime prevention. That’s why our Louisiana reforms were mirrored by what President Trump and congressional leaders of both parties passed at the federal level last year.”

Edwards’ statement highlighted the following statistics from the FBI’s 2018 Crime Report:

  • Overall violent crime decreased by 3.4 percentage points in Louisiana.
  • Louisiana’s murder rate was 11.4 per 100,000 people, which is a decline from 12.3 since the 2017 data.
  • Louisiana’s murder rate decreased by 7.8 percent from 2017 to 2018, outpacing the national decrease of 6.8 percent.
  • Property crimes went down by 2.7 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Violent crime rates also decreased in Arkansas and Texas by 3.9% and 6.1% respectively.

While the murder rate decreased by 15.5% in Oklahoma, the overall violent crime rate went up because reports of rape went up 3.3% and aggravated assault rose 4.2%.

Click here for the FBI’s breakdown of Crime in the United States by region, geographic division, and state for 2017-18.

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Click here for more information on the FBI’s release of 2018’s crime data.

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