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ST. LOUIS- The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released its 2020 annual report Thursday, recapping what was one of the most violent years in recent memory when it comes to homicides in the city.

The city recorded a total of 286 homicides in 2020, but for Uniform Crime Reporting purposes, the city saw 264 when justifiable homicides and deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accidents sare factored in.

Of those 264 homicides, 31.1 percent were cleared via an arrest in 2020. Of all 23,635 total crimes reported in 2020, 13.3 percent were cleared.

In the report, Police Chief John Hayden said he was encouraged by how 2020 began, noting that year-to-year homicide figures were down in May. June and July were pivotal months.

“Unfortunately, by the end of July our UCR homicide numbers rose to 30 more than the same time in 2019. Simultaneously, beginning on June 1st, the St. Louis Police Department
experienced the beginning of protests in response to the tragic in-custody death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis. On that evening and during the summer that followed, we experienced numerous incidents in which officers were fired upon with several being struck,” Hayden wrote.

Courtesy: SLMPD 2020 Annual Report Executive Summary

With assistance from the Missouri Highway Patrol and the federal government as part of Operation Legend, the department said it saw a 40 percent decrease in homicides in August and September than in June and July.

The department’s analysis broke down homicides by day and time of day.

Courtesy: SLMPD Annual Report

Read reports from 2020 and past years

“As we’ve moved into 2021, we are re-evaluating our operational responses and how we can use technology to assist us in addressing crime,” Hayden wrote, reflecting the department’s increased use of data and technology in addressing crime.

He has also endorsed the new Jones administration’s push to shift the department’s finances in ways to address root causes of crime.