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?
- 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.