In the last week, there have been five homicides in Cincinnati. That boosts the total to 58, compared with 55 last year, says the Cincinnati Enquirer. The increase of gun violence has gotten the attention of police, judges, and Mayor Mark Mallory. Police say cutting the supply of illegal drugs may be the cause; the national cocaine supply out of Latin America is dwindling due to tighter border control and stricter laws, police say. “Our intelligence says there is quite a shortage on crack cocaine right now, and that has the buyers frantic to buy based on their addiction and the sellers know their livelihood is threatened based on supply and demand,” said Lt. Col. James Whalen. “When you get involved with buying and selling drugs, unfortunately you run into violence.”
Some are not convinced that the shortage of drugs in the city has a correlation to the rise of violence. “The way it usually works is the more dope on the street, the more fellas on the street, the more competition for corners on the street, the more gun violence,” said Michael Levine, a former 25-year federal drug agent, now based in High Falls, N.Y. “So what are we supposed to believe, that we should import crack to Cincinnati to stop violence? We’ll have the Red Cross do a peace mission of crack cocaine drops,” he said.