More than six people in Cincinnati were shot during Christmas week, Dr. Jay Johannigman, a University Hospital trauma surgeon, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We are dying out here for nothing,” says Mitch Morris, 53, who lives in Avondale, site of three of the city’s most dangerous spots. “You don’t have to go to Iraq for that. We have a war right here in the city.”
“We are in a state of emergency,” said Dr. Victor Garcia of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “For not only the city, but also for our race, because crime is the leading cause of death for young black men.” Cincinnati appeared ready in 2008 to reduce its homicide rate, but the decline evaporated after violence escalated last fall. Law enforcement officials and anti-violence advocates push programs to blunt the carnage by confronting those involved with it. They take a tough-love approach with gang members, showing photos of tubes snaking from a victim’s body that help the man breathe, eat, and remove bodily wastes. They hope their message sinks in, because for every homicide, eight to 10 people are shot and wounded.