LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — New data released in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report revealed there was a 30% jump in murders from 2019 to 2020.
This is the largest spike in homicides the United States has experienced since the agency began keeping records in the 1960s.
The data shows 21,570 homicides in the U.S. in 2020 compared to 16,669 in 2019.
The overall violent crime rate increased 5.6%, while property crimes dropped 8%.
The city of Lexington experienced a 13% jump in homicides from 2019 to 2020. A record-breaking 34 murders were recorded last year.
Wantrice Proctor’s youngest son was among the victims.
“This is not a drop-out in that casket. This is not a runaway. This is not a kid without a foundation,” she said. “One wrong mistake; one wrong move, and that’s where you could be. That’s where my child is.”
17-year-old Michael Ethan Proctor was shot and killed on Aug. 21, 2020.
“When I sit still, that’s when everything hits me, so I try to keep moving,” Wantrice Proctor said. “I’m just trying to remember my child in a positive light.”
Proctor said her son was a student at Carter G. Woodson Academy, played football at Frederick Douglass High School, and had plans to go to college.
His goals and dreams were cut tragically short, but the family is working to carry on his legacy.
In partnership with the Black Male Working Academy, Inc., the Proctor family established the Michael Ethan Scholarship to be awarded annually to a graduating BMWA Senior who will be attending college.
A month before Michael Proctor died, 31-year-old Darell Lenet Price-Moberly was shot multiple times on Chestnut St., according to Lexington Police.
“Our lives have been changed forever and I will never be the same,” said Soraya Moberly, Darell’s sister. “Every day I try to move on. I try to find a way to push through.”
Moberly described Darell as a big family man who loved his daughter more than anything.
The last time they saw each other was at a family gathering on the fourth of July.
“Our last words were, ‘I love you,’” she said. “I know I will grieve forever about my brother. Forever and ever and ever.”
Moberly said her family is still fighting for justice and is calling for anyone who may have information about her brother’s murder to come forward. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers or by calling 859-253-2020.
Moberly said she’ll continue sharing her brother’s story until then, hoping it may be enough to convince people to choose peace over violence.
There have been 28 homicides in Lexington in 2021, according to the most recent data from the Lexington Police Department.