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by Peter Moskos

August 26, 2017

Too much to bear

Back when I wrote Cop in the Hood, I was horrified to figure out that 11.6 percent of men were being murdered (see the footnote on pp. 219-222). Well it's even worse today.

In 2015 and 2016, 126 people were killed in Baltimore's Western District. Eighty-six were black men age 18 to 34. (By comparison, 64 people were killed in the two preceding years.) Based on a total population of 38,000, there are approximately 4,500 black men aged 18 to 34 in the Western District. So the annual homicide rate for 18-to-34-year-old men in the Western District over the past two-year is 955 per 100,000. (The national homicide rate is now about 6 per 100,000; Baltimore's is 50.)

What does a murder rate of 955 mean? Well, here's a survival function:
1 - (1 - r)^x
r is the death rate and x is number of years. The death rate is 1 in 105 or .009555. The number of years from 18 to 34 is 17. So 1 - (1-.009555)^17 =0.1747.
This means that if homicide levels don't drop, a 17-year-old man in the Western District will have a 17 percent chance of being murdered before he reaches the age of 34. The numbers before 2015 weren’t great. Actually, they were pretty terrible; but they were a hell of lot better.

One-in-five men murdered?! I don't know what else to say.

[I thought of some things to say in my next post.]


superior essay papers said...

Racism and hatred against Black community leading to unjust death and murders is an old story. We do have come a long way from where we used to be but there's still so much more capacity for improvement

Andrew said...

Those numbers are staggering and scary. I am betting that they are even more terrifying for someone who lives in a rough part of town. I can only imagine what those rates might be like in 5 years from now if the community and police do not find an effective way to work together in reducing crime rates.