Pennsylvania leads the U.S. in the rate of black homicide victimization, says an analysis of unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). The study uses 2004 data, the most recent available from the FBI, and is the first analysis to rank the 50 states according to their black homicide rates. The study found overwhelmingly that firearms, usually handguns, were the weapon of choice.
The top 10 states, with their black homicide victimization rates, were: Pennsylvania, 29.52 per 100,000; Louisiana, 29.48; Indiana, 29.30; California, 28.95; Missouri, 28.63; Michigan, 28.27; Maryland, 24.64 100,000; Minnesota, 24.45; Nevada, 23.67, and, Arizona, 21.54. The study says “the toll that homicide exacts on black teens and young adults in America, both male and female, is disproportionate, disturbing, and undeniable” and that, “As efforts are made to reduce America’s black homicide victimization toll, the unique facilitating role of firearms cannot be ignored.”