Urban Killings Are Risings and Falling

The economics of urban plight in studies by those experts have shown a trend where affluence and poverty lies so goes the transformation of city dwelling. Slayings in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis are becoming concentrated into small areas where people are dying at a pace not seen in years, if ever. Around them, much of the rest of those cities are growing more peaceful, even as the total number of homicides rises. “There’s two different worlds,” “Downtown is just popping. … We struggle.”

The AP collected 10 years of homicide data from the cities that had the highest homicide rates in 2016. Reporters used spatial analysis to identify clusters of killings and track the changing geographic patterns over time. The neighborhoods enduring the most violence were largely poor and African-American, as were the killers and the victims. Researchers say the disparity may be linked to increased joblessness, segregation and the growth of the so-called wealth gap. Over the past three decades, the wealthiest Americans have grown markedly richer while low earners lost jobs and struggled and some turned to violence. The trend goes beyond the problem neighborhoods and trendy, low-crime enclaves that are found in almost every city. The inequality between the two realities deepened in recent years, allowing people in the same metropolis to live in one realm with little sense of the other and creating districts of despair where everyone has seen or had someone close to them shot or killed. Neighborhood that have seen a disproportionate number of homicides, said the findings reinforce the need to deal with the root causes of violence in what’s called “pockets of intense desperation.”

How to deal with death:

We want to teach at-risk kids the importance of education, staying out of trouble, community values and the need to become good citizens but with violence in inner cities now increasing those important issues above have very little value. These youth most pressing need is how to deal with death because its all around them everyday 24/7. But, we are also seeing areas of the city where violence was once rampant now are become bastions of affluence. Take the around Hyde Park in Chicago’s south side where President Obama has planned his library. This area before his presidency was an area of soaring homicides, now that money is flowing the city has concentrated its efforts to make the area one of the safest in the city. University of Chicago which sits somewhat south of Hyde Park has always been an area where crime and homicides have been nonexistent because of the university. This area has an influx of affluent people drawn to the bicycle trails and close proximity to the Lake but one block outside and poverty is also rampant along with crime and homicides.

The West Side Chicago neighborhoods has seen a disproportionate number of homicides, the findings reinforce a need to deal with the root causes of violence “We know these problems tend to compound when they’re not addressed,” It’s going to be very problematic for cities, because people are not going to just stay in their neighborhoods and commit crimes.”

Adding to the dilemma over what’s going on and what to do about it is that the narrowing homicide pattern isn’t happening everywhere.“What we have is an epidemic, and epidemics often happen in ways that are unpredictable,” said Charles Ransford, director of science and policy for Cure Violence, a Chicago-based group that works to stop the spread of violence by treating it as a public health issue.




Indianapolis, often called the “Crossroads of America,” is best known as the home of auto racing’s Indianapolis 500. Governor Pence’s home before coming Vice President. The nation’s 15th largest city saw a record 149 homicides in 2016 and just surpassed that total this year.

The most intense violence is happening in a relatively limited area. The city’s three deadliest ZIP codes in 2016 accounted for 43 percent of all homicides. More than 20 percent of the slayings occurred in a single ZIP code on the city’s northeast side.

The predominantly African-American neighborhood grew steadily poorer in recent years. Lost working-class jobs, many from the shutdowns of plants run by Navistar and Carrier, were a possible factor. The city has 10,000 fewer manufacturing jobs today than in 2007.

“All those manufacturing jobs have left so those neighborhoods have really died,” said Jim White, the former commander of a state police post in Indianapolis. “Folks without an education are just left out there.”

The concentration of violence extends to Chicago, which ended 2016 with 762 homicides, the highest in two decades. The city has been described by President Donald Trump as resembling “a war zone.” But in almost a third of ZIP codes that have reported a homicide in the last decade, the trend has been fewer killings. Now 60 percent of the killings were in only 10 of the city’s roughly 58 ZIP codes. Chicago’s violence is fueled by gang factions that splintered from the major gangs of years ago. More factions mean more rivalries and more potential for violence. Police estimate the city has some 80,000 gang members, up from about 68,000 five years ago.

They also point to gang competition to meet the growing demand for heroin and opioids. One ZIP code on Chicago’s “Heroin Highway,” so called because suburbanites use the expressway to drive into the city for drugs, had 54 homicides in 2016, up from 24 just a year earlier.

Similar forces are at work in St. Louis, which had a record number of homicides in 2015, a spike that contributed to the overall U.S. homicide rate increasing more than 10 percent. But most of that increase came from just two ZIP codes, and in seven of the city’s 17 ZIP codes, homicides fell.

The danger of the more concentrated violence, Hertz(Police Chief) said, is that it can become easy for most people to ignore it, and that can intensify the problem.

“It can create this sense of ’Let’s wall it off,’” he said. People who can leave start to move out if they don’t feel safe, reducing a city’s tax base and the number of students in its schools and increasing the number of vacant properties in a particular neighborhood. It becomes a vicious cycle.


E. Bishop III, The Money Connection

“Following The Money For Our Community”

Now, as in the generations before my time and continuing into our future, wealth whether you have it determines how our population lives. Right now the attack on our Middle Class make its less likely that those poverty numbers will decrease. That stepladder to comfortable living, our middle class, is slowly shrinking, which makes it less likely that our Urban areas will improve. It’s very hard to contemplate why its necessary to become richer and drive the poor even further into despair but that trend is exploding. It soon will become very obvious to those 1% ers, that what gave rise to their status was the middle class not reducing taxes.

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