KERN COUNTY, Calif. — It's the 40th Anniversary of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
The Kern County District Attorney told 23ABC that of the 125 record-breaking homicides that took place last year, 60% of those remain unsolved at this time. She says this week is meant to bring dignity and respect to the victims and their families, who are more than just statistics.
“2020 was our deadliest year on record,” Cynthia Zimmer, Kern County district attorney.
As we've reported, Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer says there's been an uptick in homicides from 90 in 2019 to 125 in 2020, adding it’s up a considerable amount for a county of 900,000 people.
“It’s particularly disappointing anytime we lose a human life, it’s horrific and a tragedy for the family, but the year before it was the first time homicides went down in five years in 2019,” said Zimmer.
Coupling the heightened homicide rate with the 40th Anniversary of National Crime's Victims Rights Week, Zimmer emphasizes the need for witnesses to come forward even though they may have immigration fears.
“They’re not going to be deported and many times, they don’t even have to come to court. People need to come forward be a part of the community, it is the right thing to do.”
Wednesday, the Kern County DA will host an honor and remembrance drive for crime victims on the south side of the Kern County Courthouse and Board of Supervisors building on the 1200 block of Truxtun Ave.
They will put up posters of the victims and people can come in solidarity by driving by rather than gathering because of COVID.
They’re also this week putting victim’s stories on the Kern County DA district page.
"And unfortunately, most of our victims are people of color. This year many of them were children, most of the people died at the hands of gun violence also this year we had a lot of stabbings.”
23ABC asked the DA's office today, but they could not give us a report on the number of people of color that were victims of homicide at this time.
The DA encourages anyone with information on any crime to call (661) 322-4040.