WASHINGTON (AP) — Some police organizations and Republican politicians are blaming Democrats and last year’s defund the police effort for a troubling rise in homicides in many cities across the country.

The increases are real, and some cities did make modest cuts to police spending. But the claims by Republicans overlook the fact homicides are up in many cities, including ones that increased police spending or have Republican mayors.

Experts say the real reason homicides are up even though many other kinds of crime are down are complicated. They include the social and economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic and protests about killings by police following the death of George Floyd.