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Study: Racial Disparity on Gun Violence, Murders

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A national study of homicide trends from Northeastern University includes detailed data of New York City's murder statistics. They show an uneven track record when it comes to reducing the toll of gun violence on young black males. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

The NYPD has succeeded in bringing down the city's homicide rate to historic lows. Yet according to data from the Northeastern study, when it comes to fatal gun violence aimed at black teens, little progress has been made.

In 2001 to 2002 there were 48 murders of black teens under 18 years of age. Five years later there were also 48 murders of black juveniles, most often by other black males.

By comparison, the murder rate for white teens dropped from 34 to 18, almost a 50 percent drop. Easy access to handguns continues to be a persistent problem with almost 78 percent of the black murder suspects -- ages 14 to 24 -- being charged with using a handgun in 2007. That's compared to just 48 percent in 1976.

For WNYC I am Bob Hennelly.

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