|A temporary vigil created for Africa Hope, a 15-year-old black girl who was randomly gunned down by a black male in Cincinnati last year. No great irony exists than her Christian name/surname|
The irony of Africa’s last name was not lost on Josh Spring, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. “Instead of investing in the lives of so many people in our community that are experiencing such need, we are choosing to spend millions of dollars on development for a few people,” he said.
“We must instead invest in the systematic support of life. This young girl with such a powerful last name – Hope – was too important not to.” Mary Burke Rivers, a long-time advocate for the poor, is executive director of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, which has 380 units of affordable housing.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said of Africa’s death. “You just wonder what it’s going to take to stop it and when people will stop thinking it’s OK to carry and use guns.”
CINCINNATI -- The homicide rate in Cincinnati will end higher in 2010 than it did in 2009.
According to figures released to WLWT on Thursday, the city of Cincinnati has had 72 homicides this year. That's a 20 percent increase from 2009, when there were 60 homicides.
The figure does not include the death of a man in East Price Hill on Thursday night, which was being investigated as a possible homicide.
Of the 72 people killed this year, 58 were African-American, or about 80 percent. The majority of those arrested in the killings are also African-American.
Stan Ross is a youth outreach worker who sees first-hand what violence is doing to the streets of Cincinnati.
"Most of the times in our city, primarily it has been African-American males who have been shooting each other," Ross said.
Ross distributes materials on the streets to inform, persuade and steer troubled youth away from violence. He also tries to intervene to prevent retaliation, knowing that many grieving families and their friends resolve conflicts in ways that perpetuate violence.
"The vast majority of people being murdered are African American in the City of Cincinnati," said Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters. "The vast majority. Well outside the 40 percent of the population it should be. In 2009, the City of Cincinnati did not have a single white victim of a homicide. (That) tells me that we have a subset in the underclass of Cincinnati which is committing a lot of violent crime and they tend to be black. And the reality is, you almost always commit murder within your racial classifications. So when we've got a young black man up in the coroners office, it's almost always a result of another young black man shooting him."
That same year, 2009, no white men were killed but 44 black men were victims of homicide in Cincinnati as well as 11 black women. Prosecutor Deters says he doesn't know why there are so many homicides in the African American community in Cincinnati, but he can speculate.
"I'm not a sociologist," said Deters. "I don't know the answer to that. I do know that, in our juvenile system, when you go to juvenile prison, I have been told that over two thirds of those kids in juvenile prison were raised by their mothers only or their grandmothers only and they had no male authority figure in the household."
|The African-style violence in Cincinnati has one benefit: the United States Air Force has plenty of bodies to train trauma surgeons before they are sent into war-zones (far less violent than the one found in Cincinnati)|
CINCINNATI —Cincinnati's homicide rate dropped a bit in 2011, but not by much.
And a little more than half of the homicides reported last year remain unsolved.
There were 69 homicides reported in Cincinnati in 2011, down from 73 a year prior.Of the 69 homicides, arrests had been made in only 31 of the cases. In three cases, the victim died from police gunfire.
Avondale and Over-the-Rhine were the areas with the most homicides, 11 each.
In what continues to be a disturbing trend in Cincinnati, the vast majority of homicides are cases of black-on-black crime. All but two homicide victims and one suspect were black.
A newspaper analysis finds homicides in Cincinnati increasingly involve a black victim and a black assailant, a trend that has risen through the decade.
The figures have become so troublesome that city council plans a special session Monday night to discuss the topic, which previously has been limited to conversations about economic development or downtown safety.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Sunday that since 2005, 86 percent of homicides in which an arrest was made involved black-on-black violence.
The newspaper says that's up from about 75 percent of homicide arrests from 2000 through 2004.
The analysis says eight of 10 homicide victims since 2000 have been black, and finds that all but one of the 66 homicide victims in 2011 was black.
Give up? [BLACK-ON-BLACK CRIME ON THE RISE, Cincinnati Post, by Jennifer Edwards, 5-12-2001]:
Forty-three percent of Cincinnati's 331,000 residents are African-American. But 80 percent of murders in the city since 1995 - 188 of 238 homicides - involved black victims and black offenders, according to law enforcement statistics.
The phenomenon of black-on-black crime increases each year, locally and nationwide, according to police and FBI crime reports.
In the weeks after the April riots, gunfire crackled at an alarming rate through Over-the-Rhine, West End, Avondale, Bond Hill and other predominantly African-American neighborhoods.
Some of the same Cincinnati neighborhoods that paid a toll in broken glass and looted buildings during the riots have suffered from a recent rash of shootings. According to an Enquirer analysis of Cincinnati Police Division reports from April 7 to June 15:
• Forty-one shootings were reported. That compares with three such shootings a month in spring 2000.
• Three people died in those recent shootings; 21 suffered serious injuries.
• Fourteen — or 34 percent of the shootings — had indicators of gang activity, including multiple suspects and multiple getaway cars.
• In total, 59 people ended up on the wrong side of a gun — and all but one were black.
• The 22 known and arrested suspects were black males.
Carrie Johnson, president of the Over-the-Rhine Community Council, said it's been a primary topic at the bus stop and in the grocery store.
“Everybody's talking about it,” Ms. Johnson said. “It's a shame that they're killing each other. I'm disgusted by the whole thing.”
“It's like the OK Corral out there,” said Keith Fangman, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Blacks are being slaughtered in the streets of Cincinnati and we cannot solve this problem by ourselves. We need the help of the mayor, City Council and community leaders.”