Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nebraska Ranks #1 In Rate of Black Homicides

The report came out the same day North Omaha held the funeral for 5-year-old Payton Benson; killed by a random bullet fired during a gun battle outside her home.  

A national organization campaigning against gun violence, The Violence Policy Center, released a study claiming Nebraska "leads the nation in the rate of black homicide." The study, based on FBI crime statistics from 2011, the most recent data available, puts the states murder rate for African Americans in the state at a rate of 34.43 per 100,000.  The organization said at the numbers place Nebraska's rate at "nearly two times the national black homicide victimization rate and more than seven times the overall homicide victimization rate nationwide."
(Read the full report here.)
There were states with many more total murders of black residents (Michigan totaled 447 compared to Nebraska's 30) but the study uses the number of deaths in comparison to the population as its basis for the claim.   Other points raised by the Center's study:
  • Of the 28 black homicide victims killed with guns, 89 percent (25 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 2 victims killed with firearms where the type of gun was not stated. There were 2 victims killed with knives or other cutting instruments.
  • Two black homicide victims (7 percent) were less than 18 years old. The average age was 28 years old.
  • For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 78 percent of black homicide victims (7 out of 9) were murdered by someone they knew. Two victims were killed by strangers.
  • For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 94 percent (17 out of 18) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 18 percent (3 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.