For the second year in a row, Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victims, according to an study by the Violence Policy Center reported by the Kansas City Star. It is the third time in the last five years that Missouri has topped the list. Missouri's rate of 34.72 homicides per 100,000 black residents in the study year of 2009 is almost double the national black homicide victim rate of 17.90. The national rate for whites is 2.92 homicides per 100,000 people.
If there is any positive news in the report, it's that Missouri's nation-leading rate decreased from the year before when it led the country with 39.90 homicides per 100,000 black residents. Kansas ranked 12th nationally with a rate of 20.04 per 100,000 population. In St. Louis, blacks were victims in 125 of the 143 homicides in 2009. Of Kansas City's 110 homicides in 2009, there were 81 black victims.Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté said the factors contributing to violent crime are multifaceted and require a multifaceted effort to combat it. “It's not singularly a parent issue. It's not singularly a law enforcement issue. It's an issue for the entire community,” he said.