Friday, January 31, 2014

Violence Policy Center: Nebraska the most dangerous state for black Americans

Omaha's mostly black-on-black gang violence vaulted Nebraska, with only about 1.8 million people, into a first-in-the-USA Black homicide victimization rate of 34.43 per 100,000.
     One explanation could be that the city has staggering poverty affecting specific pockets of the population. Omaha has the unenviable position of ranking 1st among U.S. cities for the total number of African Americans who qualify as low-income.
     John Crank, a criminal justice professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, points to a clustering of the killings in the city’s most socially deprived areas, mainly in the north.
     “Most Omaha neighborhoods had no homicides,” says Crank. “The majority of violent crime and killings are isolated to specific areas.”
     “A lot is gang-related, a fair amount of retaliation. Then you have crime committed by gang members that are not acting on behalf of their gangs.”
     In reality, the homicide rates for Omaha are dwarfed in comparison to murder data from the tough streets of Chicago or Detroit, since Nebraska has a small population.
Below: aftermath of Omaha's newest black homicide and its effect on an investigating officer:

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