You have to love the Philadelphia Inquirer. It has broken down homicide in the city in an easily accessible online database, allowing the reader to break down murder in the city between 1988-2012 by date, race, age, sex, and weapon used. [Homicides in Philadelphia, Philly.com]:
Since 1988, over 9,000 people have been slain on the streets of Philadelphia, affecting every neighborhood in the city. To put that deadly toll in perspective, during the length of U.S. combat operations in the Iraq war, 3,517 American troops were killed in action - and 3,113 people were killed in Philadelphia.
|From the Philadelphia Inquirer: A map detailing where homicides took place between 1988-2012|
Areport titled “Murder Is No Mystery: An Analysis of Philadelphia Homicide, 1996-1999,” which was released in 2001 and provocatively asked:
If this went on in your own neighborhood, would you stay? Would you go out at night? Would you consider leaving the neighborhood, or even the city, if you could? Of course you would.In the late 1990s, blacks were 43 percent of Philadelphia’s population and 76 percent of the alleged murderers . Whites were 52 percent of the population but just 5 percent of alleged murderers.Historically, racial disparities in crime are not simply products of the 1960s. In 1950, Philadelphia was predominantly white, with blacks comprising roughly 20 percent of the population. Even then, disproportionate levels of criminal offending existed. “Patterns in Criminal Homicide,” written by renowned criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, was hailed as the most thorough study of homicide at the time. Wolfgang studied every homicide in Philadelphia between 1948 and 1952, and concluded that many were caused by trivial insults and petty arguments (162).
Wolfgang showed that the white murder rate in Philadelphia between 1948 and 1952 was 1.8 per 100,000 people, while the black rate was 25.6, or 14 times the white rate. By the mid-1970s, the white murder rate increased to 2.8 per 100,000. The black murder rate, meanwhile, increased to 64.2, 23 times the white rate.
|That same Philadelphia Inquirer map: 78 percent of homicide victims have been black between 1978-2012 (1,501 have been white)|
Philadelphia doesn't have a gun-crisis; it has a black crisis.[Shaking up 'Kila-delphia' with cameras, CNN.com, 8-9-2012]:
Joe Kaczmarek's police scanner pops to life with chatter just before midnight.
Moments later, "Kaz," as he's known, is rushing to the scene of a robbery near the Temple University campus alongside fellow veteran photojournalist Jim MacMillan.
By the time they arrive, the 20-year-old robbery victim has been taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the back.
Kaz snatches two cameras from the back seat of his car and jumps into the street. He is roving around the crime tape like a caged lion, snapping photographs as police take away two men in handcuffs.
Standing nearby, MacMillan thumbs away at his smartphone, updating Twitter: "On shooting scene at 17 & C.B.Moore in North Philadelphia now."
Kaz and MacMillan co-founded GunCrisis.org to help curb gun violence plaguing what is supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love.
"I want to put the audience out there in the streets," Kaz said. "I want them to see what I'm seeing every night in this city: The children watching crime scene investigations night after night, day after day. Anything to disrupt this, marginally disrupt this, we consider a success."
Philadelphia had 324 homicides last year. Arguments are the leading motive for murder, and blacks make up 85% of the homicide victims, according to police data.Blaming a weak economy, a crumbling public school system and dysfunctional family units, Chuck Williams, director of the Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence at Drexel University, said residents are desperate and come from a culture where they learn the way to handle an argument is with a gun.
The Knockout Game is bad in Philly; the black gun-crime is even worse. Let's start addressing that, if we are to see Philadelphia move toward a different future than that of 2013 Detroit."This is a people problem, not a government problem," said Williams, a Drexel education professor who works with educators and youth to prevent school fights, shootings and cyberbullying. "I see so much hopelessness and despair. A broken child comes from a broken home, with few exceptions."