MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Authorities say violent crimes in Minneapolis ballooned by 21% in 2020, a year marked by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The city recorded 5,422 violent crime incidents, including homicides, rapes, robberies, and widespread protests against racial injustice aggravated assaults, according to a preliminary year-end report by Minneapolis police.

The city averaged 4,496 such crimes over the previous five years. Reports say a range of mental health experts and community leaders say the increase in violence is unlikely due to any one reason, but most of them point to the COVID-19 outbreak as a key factor.

Although violent crime was trending upward through the first half of the 2020, it really took off after the May 25 death of George Floyd.

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