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The murder/homicide situation in Baltimore is an emergency

For the following graph, I took the population estimates from the US Census Bureau for the decades in question (1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010). I took the number of murders for each year from 1985 to 2012 from the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Uniform Crime Reporting database. (One big caveat is that the data collection methods changed significantly in 2000, so the numbers before and after 2000 are not very comparable and should not be used in a vacuum to draw conclusions.) For the murders in 2013, 2014 and year-to-date in 2015, I used the Baltimore Sun’s database of homicides which is tied into the Baltimore City Open Data project and uses public information for the most recent information. It is fair to say that the 2015 numbers are in flux, but they’re pretty solid.

If those numbers hold, and if the census estimate for Baltimore City in 2014 is correct, this year is already the year with the highest murder rate per 100,000 residents in Baltimore since the height of the crack-cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.


If this is not an emergency — and a catastrophe — then I don’t know what is.

I hope my math is wrong. Here is my data table:


Check my math, please?

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René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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4 replies

  1. I’ve spent the last 16 hours trying to mentally keep it clean.
    Address the lack of jobs that can enrich the populace and not require payday loans (where we’ve relocated to is *lousy* with such businesses).
    Granted, I make well over the desired $15.00/hour wage, but I always will support *all* of the majority of our nation.
    While, my oath of contract to the US DoD may have expired on my retirement, my oath of honor has no expiration date.

    I also remember the economic information, in general for that era of the spike. It wasn’t really a fun time.
    We had disco and zero.
    I joined the Army in 1982, beginning of year.
    After injury, went reserve and did both the civilian and military thing.
    Yeah, interesting times, I’d rather be dead than to try to repeat them in my dotage.


  2. Well, the good news is: Your math appears correct.

    Of note, however, while the murder rate is highest it’s been for some time, between 2007 and 2014, seem to be anomalous compared to the other trends. This coincides with the rather draconian zero-tolerance tactics used by Baltimore PD which led to their own unrest and social issues.


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