Violence Policy Center
Press Release

Wisconsin Ranks #7 for Black Homicide Victimization

80 percent of black homicide victims in Wisconsin were killed with guns

By - Mar 3rd, 2016 10:41 am
Crime Scene Tape

Crime Scene Tape

Washington, DC — Wisconsin has the seventh highest black homicide victimization rate in the nation with a rate of 24.74 per 100,000, which is above the national black homicide victimization rate and more than five times the overall homicide rate nationwide, according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The annual study, Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data, ranks the states according to their black homicide victimization rates. It is based on unpublished data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). The study details homicide rates for 2013, the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available. This is the tenth year the Violence Policy Center has released the study.

“In America, black men and women face a disproportionate risk of being murdered, a fact both alarming and unacceptable,” states VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann. “Moreover, our study found that the vast majority of these homicides are committed with guns, usually a handgun. We hope our research will not only help educate the public and policymakers, but aid those national, state, and community leaders who are already working to end this grave injustice.”

In Wisconsin, there were 93 black homicide victims in 2013, resulting in a homicide rate of 24.74 per 100,000. That year, the national black homicide rate was 16.91 per 100,000, and the overall national homicide rate was 4.27 per 100,000.

For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 80 percent of the black homicide victims in Wisconsin were shot and killed with guns. Nationwide, 84 percent of black homicide victims were killed with guns.

The 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates in 2013 were:

Rank   State               Black Homicide Victimization Rate Per 100,000

1          Indiana            34.15

2          Missouri           30.42

3          Michigan          30.34

4          Nebraska         27.65

5          Oklahoma        27.36

6          Pennsylvania   26.11

7          Wisconsin        24.74

8          Louisiana         23.33

9          California         21.79

10        New Jersey     20.49

For WISCONSIN, the study finds that in 2013:

  • Of the 93 black homicide victims, 79 were male and 14 were female.
  • Nine black homicide victims (10 percent) were less than 18 years old and 1 victim (1 percent) was 65 years of age or older. The average age was 31 years old.
  • When the weapon used could be identified, 80 percent of the black homicide victims (70 out of 87) were killed with guns. Of these, 76 percent (53 victims) were killed with handguns.
  • For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 56 percent of black homicide victims (24 out of 43) were killed by someone they knew. Nineteen victims were killed by strangers.
  • For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 65 percent (34 out of 52) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 79 percent (27 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.

For the entire UNITED STATES, the study finds that in 2013:

  • There were 6,217 black homicide victims in the United States. Blacks represented 13 percent of the nation’s population, yet accounted for 50 percent of all homicide victims.
  • The black homicide victimization rate in the United States was 16.91 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall national homicide victimization rate was 4.27 per 100,000. For whites, the national homicide victimization rate was 2.54 per 100,000.
  • Of the 6,217 black homicide victims, 5,381 were male and 836 were female. The homicide victimization rate for black male victims was 30.59 per 100,000. The homicide victimization rate for female black victims was 4.36 per 100,000.
  • For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 84 percent of black victims (4,960 out of 5,891) were shot and killed with guns. Of these, 73 percent (3,609 victims) were killed with handguns.
  • For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 72 percent of black victims (2,002 out of 2,766) were killed by someone they knew. The number of victims killed by strangers was 764.
  • For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 68 percent (2,534 out of 3,754) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 51 percent (1,284 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.

The FBI data includes incidents reported as justifiable homicides of black victims killed by law enforcement. Nationwide, there were 140 such incidents reported in 2013. The data does not specifically identify killings by police that are not ruled justifiable. The FBI recently announced it will dramatically expand its data collection on violent police encounters by 2017.

The study calculates black homicide victimization rates by dividing the number of black homicide victims by the black population, and multiplying the result by 100,000. This is the standard and accepted method of comparing fatal levels of gun violence.

The full study is available at http://www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide16.pdf.

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