Skip to comments.Murders Reach a 10-Year High in Boston
Posted on 12/17/2005 9:16:14 AM PST by NormsRevenge
BOSTON - The execution-style slayings of four young men in a basement music studio this week cast a spotlight on a crime wave that has pushed murder in Boston to a 10-year high.
While the murder rate nationally has dropped over the past decade, some cities such as Boston and Philadelphia are seeing it spike. In Boston, the number of slayings has more than doubled in the past several years, climbing from 31 in 1999 to 71 so far this year.
Criminologists blame the increase in part on a decrease in funding for neighborhood policing because of the war on terrorism; a demographic bubble of teenagers and young adults; and the scaling back since the late 1990s of after-school and anti-gang programs, such as midnight basketball, summer jobs programs, counseling, and high school equivalency diploma courses.
"The great successes we had a decade ago is gone. We let down our guard," said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminal justice at Northeastern University and author of five books on violence and homicide. "The situation is not yet lost, but it could get much worse."
Across the country, there was an increase of almost 500,000 people between the ages of 15 and 30 from 1990 to 2000, census numbers show. The largest concentration of those young adults more than 20 million are now between the ages of 20 and 24.
"In 1999, they predicted this demographic bubble that we see in the youth population," said Chris Sumner, the executive director of Boston's Ten-Point Coalition, a group of churches working to fight crime. "I don't think we anticipated how violent it would be, not just in Boston but throughout the country."
"Our babies are dying by the bucket," Sumner said.
On Tuesday night, four young men were shot to death in a home in the city's Dorchester neighborhood. It was the bloodiest crime in Boston in a decade. The four, ages 19 to 22, had attended high school together and were members of a local rap group called Graveside.
No arrests have been made, and police have refused to discuss a motive.
Police blame the rise in murders in Boston on guns and gangs. They have targeted hot spots, sweeping through neighborhoods in a search for fugitives and guns.
"I don't think these are the bad old days," said Jack Levine, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University in Boston. "We still have half the homicides that we had in 1990, when we had more than 150 murders."
That year, the bloodiest in Boston's history, there was a killing every three days: A high school student stabbed a classmate to death. An ex-con gunned down a man on a Dorchester street with an AK-47. A pack of teenagers raped and murdered a woman in a housing project.
In Philadelphia, there have been 365 homicides so far this year up from 330 in 2004. Baltimore has seen 259 killings, which is down from 276 in 2004, but up from 253 in 2002.
In some larger cities, the murder rate continues to drop. New York's and Chicago's rates have plummeted to 1960s levels New York had 508 killings through Dec. 11, a drop of about 6 percent from last year; Chicago's toll is slightly below last year's 445 homicides for the year, but far from the 600 recorded in 2003. Los Angeles had 474 through Thursday, down from 498 during the same period last year.
"We don't solve the crime problem, we only control it," Fox said. "And we were controlling it until we let it get out of control."
Boston officials have teamed up with federal prosecutors, the FBI and other federal agencies to crack down on crime. Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole has ordered dragnets that led to the arrest of 31 fugitives in a single night's sweep.
Earlier this month Mayor Thomas M. Menino battled with a local merchant who designed "Stop Snitchin'" T-shirts that critics said discouraged crime witnesses from stepping forward. The merchant agreed to stop selling the shirts after Menino threatened pull them off the shelves.
On Thursday, the state Legislature approved an $11 million grant program to help Massachusetts communities battle gangs.
"It takes more than just police. It takes lots of community resources," Fox said. "Hopefully the shootings will be a wake-up call."
Quagmire. Pull out, now. We'll never win.
San FRancisco's murder rate "spiked " too this year,, so what do city leaders and the voters do? Vote to ban handguns.
Translation: Bush's Fault.
Do the kids sit around and wonder......."Let me think. Should I play midnight basketball or should I go murder someone tonight?"
It's due to the lax gun laws we have here in New Hampshire, or so I'm told, that allow inner-city low lifes easy access to weapons.
Just when you think the MSM could sink no lower.
*L* .. I was just thinking that
Then why aren't you in front of the abortion clinic trying to stop them, Mr. Sumner?
A good right-to-carry law would put a screeching halt to this.
Same in Cincinnati. Murder at a 28 year high at this point, but don't put it in ink yet, theres still a week left.
I don't think it will happen, Boston is Stuck On Stupid.
Plan B: Build a levee around the city and start pumping water into the city of Boston.
25 feet should be the minimum depth.
eaxctly... one life is one too many!! pull out! we demand an immediate and secure pull out to a neighboring state!
You could run a random sentence generator program on a powerful computer for 50 years and not come up with a more ridiculous sentence.
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