After trying youth violence summit meetings and candlelight vigils, Kansas City will set up a 29-member commission to study the causes of the skyrocketing murder total, says the Kanas City Star. A report is due Jan. 12. Councilman Alvin Brooks proposed the commission after the city recorded its 96th homicide this week, up from 91 homicides for all of 2004. “It's going to take all of us to bring some kind of sanity to an insane situation,” Brooks said.
Councilman Troy Nash, who lives in the urban core, where the vast majority of the murders have occurred, said, “If it's an academic exercise, I'm not interested.” Nash said citizens must do more than talk about the problem, and actually confront the issue of young black males killing each other. The reasons for the violence, he said, are readily evident: no jobs, lack of education and transportation, and living in an environment with little opportunity or hope. The panel will include people from each council district, police, experts in sociology or criminal psychology, and representatives of the Partnership for Children, Kansas City Crime Commission, Black Health Care Coalition, schools and family court, as well as people affected by violent crime.