Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

50/50 whether homicides get solved

July 14, 2022

The national clearance rate for homicides has fallen to about 50%, the lowest in more than 50 years, according to this article. It was 83% in 1965. A few states do substantially better than others — Alabama and Nebraska were best at 83% over the period 2015-2020, while Rhode Island was lowest at 21% (a quarter of the states have had data problems making it impossible to calculate their clearance rates over the 5-year period). The data also indicate lower clearance rates for victims of color. The article provides examples from several cities, noting an unusually high proportion of exceptional clearances in Chicago, which had a 44% clearance rate in 2020, but half were exceptional clearances.

54th Mile Policing Project

June 28, 2022

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, three Black police executives, one each from California, Texas, and North Carolina, walked the historic 54-mile civil rights journey from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. Done by them for the purpose of self-reflection in troubled times, it has now been made into a short documentary film — the trailer is here. Expect to see the film used in police training and to facilitate police-community conversations.

Firearms mortality by state

March 26, 2021

In 2020, 44,000 Americans died by firearm in the U.S. — almost 20,000 by murder or accident, and 24,000 by suicide. This short column presents data on death by firearms by state for the previous year, 2019. Two states, Alaska and Mississippi, had firearms mortality rates 7 times higher than the state with the lowest rate, Massachusetts. Besides Alaska and Mississippi, other states with rates above 20 per 100,000 population were Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Missouri. Along with Massachusetts, states with fewer than 5 per 100,000 were Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York.

Gun deaths in the U.S.

March 11, 2020

This report provides a variety of information about gun deaths (murder, suicide, and accident) in the U.S. in 2018 and over the preceding decade, based on CDC data. Nationally over the 10-year period, gun death rates increased 18%, with suicide the most common category each year. Comparing states for total gun deaths in 2018, Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming, and Missouri had the highest rates, more than 5 times higher than in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and New York. Looking just at gun homicides, Mississippi had the highest rate in 2018, more than 10 times above the lowest, Utah.

Firearm homicides & suicides in metro areas

November 10, 2018

This CDC report looks at firearm homicides and suicides in 2015-2016 in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. New Orleans had the highest homicide rate by firearm, Providence the lowest. Oklahoma City had the highest firearm suicide rate, New York the lowest. Combining the two (homicides and suicides), Boston had the lowest rate of firearm deaths while New Orleans had the highest, followed by Birmingham and Memphis. An unusual case was Salt Lake City, which had the 6th lowest homicide rate, but the 2nd highest suicide rate.

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.

Gun death rates

March 26, 2018

This column compares the 50 states on gun death rates, noting that nationally, over half are suicides while 37% are homicides. Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have the highest gun death rates, all at least 5 times higher than Massachusetts, which has the lowest rate. Other states with the lowest rates are New York, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Policing for profit

December 21, 2017

This article reports the case of a 550-resident town that used traffic tickets, impound fees, and asset forfeiture to fund a 5-officer police department, prosecutor, and judge. Thanks to a lawsuit and bad publicity, however, motorists started avoiding the town, which now has “$60,000 in unpaid bills and a six figure debt.”

Below the radar, south & north

July 21, 2016

Here are stories from two smaller cities that provide a bit of context to current police-community tensions. According to this article, Mobile, Alabama began concerted police reform 20 years ago and is now considering a police advisory committee in the wake of a police shooting. Syracuse, NY is still investigating a shooting death that occurred amidst 37 shots fired by police and others when a Father’s Day party went out of control. This article describes the neighborhood and efforts made over previous years to improve police-community relations, providing the perspectives of residents and police.