The murder total may be down in New York City, but some pockets remain high-violence areas. Three of Louise Brown’s five sons have been murdered in the city, the Associated Press reports. Citywide, serious crime is likely to fall this year for the 13th straight year. The homicide tally of 547 so far is down 4.4 percent from last year. New York had a record 2,245 killings in 1990. Several other big cities – including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago – are likely to see their murder totals drop in 2004; nationwide, murders dropped by nearly 6 percent in the first half of the year.
Still killings are up 40 percent in Brown’s neighborhood of Bushwick; by 107 percent in the adjacent Brownsville section; and by 70 percent in Coney Island, where her third son was killed. Why some poverty-stricken pockets of Brooklyn are still prone to surges in lethal violence defies ready explanation. Police say an entrenched drug trade can be a cause. But they also view some spikes as random aberrations, or “unconnected events happening closer together,” said Paul Browne, NYPD spokesman.