Blacks Slain In Michigan At 3rd-Highest Rate In US - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Blacks Slain In Michigan At 3rd-Highest Rate In US

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - An anti-violence advocacy group says black Michigan residents are slain at one of the highest rates in the nation and are seven times more likely to be killed than Americans overall.

The Washington-based Violence Policy Center said Thursday that 31.5 of every 100,000 African Americans in Michigan was a homicide victim in 2011. That's third-highest in the country, behind Nebraska's 34.4 and Missouri's rate of 33.4 per 100,000.

Michigan's black homicide victimization rate is nearly twice the national rate for blacks of 17.5 per 100,000. The rate for all Americans is 4.4 per 100,000.

The group says it determined the cause in 428 of the Michigan killings, and 362 were from gunshots.

6 News spoke with Dr. Ronald Hall, a social work professor at Michigan State University, on why he thinks this is an issue and how it can be improved.

Looking at the numbers, MSU social work professor Dr. Ronald Hall says clearly the number of African American homicide victims is an issue.

"Definitely not enough help and not enough money," Dr. Hall said. "In a healthily economy we might have these problems they wouldn't be as devastating as they are."

Not to mention, cuts to education and programs offered by the state.

"There's a political element that just doesn't feel that investing in oppressed communities is something that should be a priority," Hall said. "We should try to provide any means available to assist these individuals job training before they get to a point where they're off to a correctional facility."

Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann calls gun violence a "public health crisis."





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