KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Homicide rates have declined in Kansas City over the past two decades, but remain among the worst in the nation and are decreasing at a slower rate than most of the country, statistics show.
The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2tFfBeI ) reported that homicide rates in Kansas City are still worse than Chicago, which is notorious for its violence.
Kansas City’s 130 homicides last year were its highest since 2008. So far this year, Kansas City has counted 69 homicides, putting it on pace to top the previous year.
In 1993, the homicide rate in Kansas City was 35.2 homicides per 100,000 residents. That dropped to 23.5 homicides per 100,000 residents by 2015, an overall downward trend.
But the city’s rate is higher than the national rate, which is five per 100,000, according to data compiled from the Kansas City police department, census data and FBI crime statistics.
Eighteen-year-old Asaan Williams was months away from graduating when he was shot and killed in Kansas City. His father said he saw the forces aligned against young men like him in the inner city: poverty, violence, guns and segregation. His killing remains unsolved.
“I always felt he was going to be at risk just being in the inner city, because it’s easy to get caught up with the wrong crowd,” his father Haji Williams said.
Kansas City has generally grown safer over the past 20 years, but some demographics are more likely to be victims than others. At most risk are young black men.
“It’s safer to be deployed as a soldier in Iraq than to be a young black man in Kansas City,” said Ken Novak, professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
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