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Young black males far more likely to be murder victims

Black youth and young adults are nearly five times more likely to be killed in California than the average young Californian. 

The disparity was even wider for black males, who have a homicide rate more than 14 times that of whites and nearly four times that of Hispanics. 

Those are among the disturbing facts in a new report by the Violence Policy Center [PDF] which found that guns and firearms were used in 84 percent of the 803 homicides of 10- to 24-year-olds in California in 2009. Ninety percent of the victims were male. 

The report concludes that "homicide, particularly gun homicide, continues to be one of the most pressing public health concerns in California among youth and young adults." 

The report comes at a time when youth-oriented social services at a county level are being eroded due to the state's budget crisis, as are rehabilitation services for young people in prison who are released still posing risks to the health and safety of their peers and communities.  

Clearly every racial and ethnic group is affected by homicides. The report shows that in 2009 446 Hispanic youth and young adults were killed in 2009 – the highest total of any ethnic group – as well as 80 whites and 26 Asians. 

But blacks are disproportionately affected. In 2009, 239 black youth and young adults were killed in California – even though blacks between 10 and 24 comprise only 7 percent of California's population while whites, with 80 killings, make up 33 percent. 

The report, underwritten by the California Wellness Foundation, also found huge disparities in the geographic distribution of homicides. While by far the largest number of youth homicides were in Los Angeles County (303), the county with the highest homicide rate among 10- to 24-years-olds was Monterey County, with a rate of 31 per 100,000. Next came Alameda County with a rate of 20 per 100,000, and Kern County with a rate of almost 20 per 100,000. 

Twelve counties, including San Diego County, had rates of five per 100,000 or less. (Only the counties with 10- to 24-year-old populations of more than 25,000 were included in the survey). 

Monterey County has long been afflicted by youth gang violence, and despite efforts by public and private agencies to stem the killings, including the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, the problem continues. During one particularly bloody period in the summer of 2009, someone was killed almost every day over a two-week period. 

The report also says the county rankings "point to the continuing urgent need for tailored, localized approaches to reducing youth homicide that integrate prevention and intervention while engaging local leaders and community stakeholders." 



Homicide Rate Per 100,000; 10- to 24-year-olds


Monterey County



Alameda County



Kern County



Contra Costa County



Tulare County



Los Angeles County



San Joaquin County



Stanislaus County



Merced County



Solano County


Overall Rate for State: 10.48 per 100,000

Source: "Lost Youth," January 2011, Violence Policy Center


Filed under: Public Safety, Daily Report


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Heartless's picture
It all comes down to value of life and voung black males don't have any. Its like they think they are still in tribal Africa

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