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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 10:03 pm

State 2nd in rate of black homicides

Frank Gray | The Journal Gazette

Indiana has the second-highest black homicide rate in the nation, nearly twice as high as the national rate for blacks and seven times the overall national rate, according to an analysis by the Violence Policy Center.

The statistics, the center said Tuesday, are based on unpublished data from the FBI Supplementary Homicide Report. The study was based on homicide rates for 2014, the most recent year for which data was available, the report said.

In Fort Wayne in 2014, there were only 16 homicides, a relatively low number compared to other years. In 2013, there were 45. In 2015, the number of homicides rose to 30 and 18 were black. In 2016, the city had 49 killings sand 33 of the victims were black.

Statewide, there were 186 black homicide victims in 2014, a rate of 29.49 per 100,000 residents. That year, the national black homicide rate was 16.38 per 100,000, and the overall national homicide rate was 4.19 per 100,000.

In Indiana, of the 186 black homicide victims, 164 were males and 22 were females. Eighteen of the victims in Indiana were under 18 but only 1 percent were over 65.

Most victims, 81 percent, were killed by someone they knew.

Where the circumstances could be determined, just less than half the killings were not related to the commission of any other felony, and half of those involved people who had gotten into an argument.

In Indiana, 85 percent of the black homicide victims were killed with guns. Nationwide, 83 percent of black homicide victims were killed with guns.

The state with the highest rate of black homicides was Missouri, with a rate of 34.98 per 100,000, the report said. Other rates included 28.48 for New Mexico, 28.17 for Nebraska, 26.07 for Pennsylvania, and 25.52 for Michigan.

The national figures include homicides that were determined to be justifiable, including black victims who were killed by police officers.

fgray@jg.net