Missouri Named Murder Capital of America for African-Americans

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 03:02 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Missouri leads the nation in the rate of African-American homicides, followed by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, a disturbing new study reveals.

"Across the nation this is a long-ignored public health crisis that is devastating black teens and adults, their families, and the communities where they live,’’ said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, who co-authored the study.

“The key role played by guns in black homicide victimization cannot be denied and must be addressed."

The Washington D.C.-based group found Missouri’s rate of African-American murders — about 34.86 per 100,000 black residents — was more than seven times the overall national rate of 4.42 per 100,000 in 2010.

The vast majority of victims nationwide, 83 percent, were shot and killed with firearms, primarily handguns. In Missouri, 91 percent of victims were killed with guns, the study revealed.

Following Missouri in deaths per 100,000 black residents are: Pennsylvania, 26.87; Michigan, 26.61; Nebraska, 25.58; Oklahoma, 25.45; Indiana, 23.89; Maine, 22.62; Louisiana, 22.61; Ohio, 19.25; and California, 19.12.

New Jersey ranked 14th with 17.71 per 100,000; Illinois, 16th with 17.90; and New York, 21st with 15.39.

The states with the least African-American homicides were Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, none of which recorded any African-American murders in 2010.

“For blacks, like all victims of homicide, guns — usually handguns — are far and away the number one murder tool,’’ concludes the study, which used data from 2010, the most recent available from the FBI.

“Successful efforts to reduce America’s black homicide toll, like America’s homicide toll as a whole, must put a focus on reducing access and exposure to firearms.’’

The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury.




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