Monday, January 31, 2011

Missouri has highest black homicide victim rate in U.S.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KRCU) - Missouri has the highest black homicide victim rate in the country, according to an annual study conducted by the Violence Policy Center. 
Missouri had 40 black victims per 100,000 blacks. Pennsylvania came in second with 31 per 100,000. 

St. Louis had 156 black homicides, 54 percent of the black homicides committed in Missouri.
In Missouri, 75 percent of the people knew their killer and 80 percent of the dead had had an argument with their killer.

The VPC study found that firearms, especially handguns, were a large factor in the homicides.

According to Josh Sugar​mann, executive director of the VPC and co-author of the study, Missouri ranked so high because individual cities cannot pass laws that are stricter than the state standard.
"Most black homicide victims, like most homicide victims, are killed with firearms," Sugarmann says. "Usually it's a handgun. So it's not so much purely an issue of criminal justice, but really the tools available when people get into arguments or employ a weapon against one another that leads to homicide."

Missouri usually has one of the highest black homicide rates in the country.This year was the first time since 2008 that Missouri was number one.

Rachel Weatherford


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