Wednesday, July 9, 2008


In August of 2007, the Bureau of Justice Statistics issued a special report on Black Victims of Violent Crimes. The report was compiled by BJS Statistician Erika Harrell, PhD.

The good news is that the report shows the overall rate of nonfatal violent victimization declined for blacks/African Americans, whites, and Hispanics age 12 or older between 1993 and 2005.

However, the report states that while blacks accounted for approximately 13% of the U.S. population in 2005, they were victims in 15% (805,000) of all nonfatal violent crimes and nearly half of all homicides.

These findings were based on data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), Supplementary Homicide Reports.

The report indicates that Black victims of homicide were most likely to be male (85%) and between the ages of 17 and 29 (51%). Blacks were killed with a firearm in about 77% of homicides against them. Homicides among Blacks were more likely to occur in highly populated areas, including cities and suburbs. About 53% of homicides against blacks in 2005 took place in areas with populations of at least 250,000 people. Blacks in households with lower annual incomes were at greater risk of violence than those with higher annual incomes.

I have my own thoughts about these statistics, they include historical and socio-economic factors, but why do you think that our community still battles with such high levels of violence?


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