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Missouri Leads Nation in Black Homicide Victimization for Second Year in a Row


State's Black Homicide Victimization Rate of 34.72 Per 100,000 is Seven Times National Overall Homicide Rate of 4.76 per 100,000

Washington, DC--Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victimization for the second year in a row according to a new analysis of unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The annual study, “Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2009 Homicide Data,” (http://www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide12.pdf) uses 2009 data--the most recent data available from the FBI--and ranks the 50 states according to their black homicide victimization rates. The study found overwhelmingly that firearms, usually handguns, were the weapon of choice in the homicides.

The top 10 states with each state's corresponding black homicide victimization rate are:

1) Missouri, 34.72 per 100,000

2) Michigan, 30.21 per 100,000

3) Pennsylvania, 28.30 per 100,000

4) Oklahoma, 27.96 per 100,000

5) Louisiana, 26.33 per 100,000

6) Indiana, 25.84 per 100,000

7) Tennessee, 23.01 per 100,000

8) Wisconsin, 22.71 per 100,000

9) California, 22.33 per 100,000

10) Nevada, 21.06 per 100,000

Josh Sugarmann, VPC executive director and study co-author states, "While Missouri has the highest state rate of black homicide victimization, homicides are devastating black teens and adults across the nation."

For MISSOURI, the study found that in 2009:

  • There were 239 black homicide victims, resulting in a homicide rate of 34.72 per 100,000. Of these, 206 were male and 33 were female.

  • For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 87 percent of black victims (200 out of 229) were killed with guns. Of these, 65 percent (129 victims) were known to be killed with handguns. There were 63 victims killed with firearms where the type of gun was not stated. There were 12 victims killed with knives or other cutting instruments, five victims killed by bodily force, and eight victims killed by a blunt object.

  • For homicides involving black victims for which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 76 percent of black victims (63 out of 83) were murdered by someone they knew. Twenty victims were killed by strangers.

  • For homicides involving black victims for which the circumstances could be identified, 64 percent (59 out of 92) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 80 percent (47 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.


For the entire UNITED STATES, the study found that in 2009:

  • There were 6,505 black homicide victims in the United States. Of these, 5,576 were male, and 928 were female. In one case the gender of the victim was unknown.

  • The homicide rate for black victims in the United States was 17.90 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall national homicide rate was 4.76 per 100,000 and the national homicide rate for whites was 2.92 per 100,000.

  • For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 82 percent of black victims (5,065 out of 6,156) were killed with guns. Of these, 74 percent (3,723 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 587 victims killed with knives or other cutting instruments, 238 victims killed by bodily force, and 170 victims killed by a blunt object.

  • For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 72 percent of black victims (2,271 out of 3,134) were murdered by someone they knew. Eight hundred sixty-three victims were killed by strangers.

  • For homicides involving black victims for which the circumstances could be identified, 71 percent (2,812 out of 3,937) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 54 percent (1,524 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender. Thirteen percent (355 homicides) were reported to be gang-related. Forty-nine percent of gang-related homicides (175 homicides) were in California, which may be in part due to more comprehensive reporting. In California, 60 percent of non-felony related homicides were reported to be gang-related.

    For Release:
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Contact:
    Sari Wisch
    Violence Policy Center
    (202) 822-8200 x110

     

     

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