Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Missouri's Black Homicide Victimization Rate Is Highest in the U.S. — Again

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 9:53 AM


A black person has a greater chance of being murdered in Missouri than any other state, according to a sobering new set of statistics.

The report, compiled by the nonprofit Violence Policy Center using unpublished 2014 data from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report, shows that the state's homicide victimization rate for black residents is the highest in the nation for the third straight year. (In the year before that, 2011, Missouri was No. 2 behind Nebraska.)

And this isn't a case of other states lowering their rates while Missouri stays stagnant. The Show Me State's already high rate grew another four percent in 2014, according to the study. That leaves a rate of 34.98 per 100,000 black residents — more than double the national rate for blacks and more than eight times the overall homicide rate nationwide, according to Violence Poverty Center.

“Each year this report reveals the devastating and disproportionate impact homicide, almost always involving a gun, has on black men, boys, women, and girls in America,” states Josh Sugarmann, Violence Poverty Center's executive director. “These deaths devastate families and traumatize whole communities. We hope our research will not only help educate the public and policymakers, but aid community leaders already working to end this grave injustice.”

There were 250 black homicide victims in Missouri in 2014, the report finds. Eighty-seven percent were shot and killed with guns. Nine percent of the victims were under eighteen, and 75 percent were killed by someone they know.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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