Murders are up again this year in Philadelphia, and the city still has the highest homicide rate of the nation’s 10 most populous cities, according to stats provided by each city’s police department. At the same time, fewer murders are getting solved.
With a few days left in the year, the city’s homicide tally stood at 324 Wednesday, including the eight victims allegedly killed in previous years by West Philly abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Last year, 306 people were killed, and the year before, 302.
But despite the jump in homicides this year, city officials prefer to focus on the past. When they compare numbers, they go back to 2007, when murders in Philly were at the five-year high of 392. Looking at it that way, they get a 17 percent decrease in the murder rate from 2007 to 2011.
Police spokesman Lt. Raymond Evers said the department compares this year’s tally with 2007′s to see long-range trends. “It’s hard to get a trend between two years,” he said.
But John Coleman, shopping at the Uceta market yesterday, wasn’t buying the spin.
“They lyin’,” said Coleman, 25.
New York’s rate is 6.1, and even notorious Los Angeles’ is only 7.8, though rates for some smaller cities – like Detroit, New Orleans and St. Louis – are much worse than Philly.
Numbers aside, officials have no unexpected explanations for what’s driving the trends. Some observers point to demographics.
Black citizens comprised 84 percent of homicide victims from January to June 2011, according to police statistics. Evers said he expects that trend will remain consistent once numbers are crunched through December.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey laments the state’s lack of strong gun control. Firearms were used in nearly 82 percent of the city’s murders this year. Although shootings dropped more than 3 percent, more injuries ended in death, Ramsey said.
He makes this statement knowing NOT ONE murder was committed by a LEGAL GUN OWNER. Out of the solved murder cases ALL perpetrators had ILLEGALLY obtained Firearms, and the unsolved murders consist of a majority of drug related homicides. So as usual the answer to dealing with violent criminals is disarm Law Abiding Citizens.