• The Rochesterian in Your Inbox:

    Join 643 other subscribers

Black on black crime is an “epidemic” that doesn’t get enough attention, according to an important report in the Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall):

Their deaths are overshadowed by tragedies like the massacres at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater and the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, as well as the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. The latter case prompted nationwide outcry in part because of its racial aspect: Mr. Martin’s killer is white and Hispanic, and Mr. Martin was black.


The Wall Street Journal found that the number of black male victims increased more than 10%, to 5,942 in 2010 from 5,307 in 2000.

Overall, more than half the nation’s homicide victims are African-American, though blacks make up only 13% of the population. Of those black murder victims, 85% were men, mostly young men.


People who dismiss high homicide rates in poor, mostly black neighborhoods as someone else’s problem ignore the cost to society, from police efforts to social services for victims’ families, said Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, D.C., think tank that conducts research on criminal justice initiatives. His group calculated the national cost for gun homicides alone in 2010 was more than $43 billion. That encompasses victim costs like lost productivity and medical care, as well as costs for police, prosecution, courts and prison. It also includes costs to the offender’s family.

A 2009 study by Iowa State analyzing other data estimated that a single murder runs up more than $17 million in costs to the police, courts, prisons, social services and to the families of victims and suspects.

This is not surprising in Rochester, where most homicide victims and suspects are far more likely to be young black men. The Wall Street Journal report found that programs providing employment and regular contact with clergy and police were effective. I was a disappointed the story didn’t address the impact of the illegal drug trade, which is directly and indirectly responsible for violence and street culture.

Rochester’s police chief recently recorded a video, which is similar to an op-ed he wrote, about black-on-black crime:

Links of the Day:

– Could Apple and Google be holding the price down on Kodak’s patents?

Craft beers can help local economies. 

– Generation Y can be extremely annoying in the workplace. Maybe that’s a good thing.

– A lost Albany cockatiel found its way home after landing on a state trooper’s head.

– New York state’s new concussion law doesn’t apply to little leagues.

– The best story of the day is about Senator Chuck Schumer’s matchmaking skills among his staff. 

3 Responses to High Cost of Homicide

  1. August 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm lynn e responds:

    The black men and sometimes women are trapped in mostly urban areas. Poverty is immense and education isn’t seen as as a value. It cant be at the level of poverty these people are at. Employment is very important with respectable wages is very important. The inequality of the nation needs to be addressed or people at the bottom will just be seen as excess. There is money to be made in prisons and in the drug war by some corporations. They also see money making opportunities in privatizing the schools of the poor. There is actually a war being declared on their schools. Until these trends get reversed and people are allowed full rights of citizenship, you will see this again and again.

  2. August 22, 2012 at 11:45 am Orielly responds:

    Urban schools the way they are today. failing most of their students, is the number one black on black crime. Minorities voting for the same DEM party, that refuses to consider vouchers, which allows them to continue to run those schools, is the voters fault. They have the schools they voted for. Vouchers are not a possible solution, they are the only solution.

    The privatizing of schools makes students and parents CUSTOMERS of the school vs some one they have to serve. When that happens the dynamics change and true service / education is provided or as Mitt says, you can “fire them” and go somewhere else. That is what drives the profit service industry and what is missing in schools in the city today.

  3. It’s very simple: drug prohibition is the cause of the violence. When black markets exist, gangs have monetary incentive to exist. Legalize the drugs, eliminate the violence associated with contract disputes in the black market. It’s the same reason why we don’t see Miller and Budweiser cartels duking it out in the streets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *