Calling the homicide rate among young black men unacceptable, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says his department is committing “unprecedented” resources to address violence to which young people are exposed, reports the Detroit News. Addressing more than 6,000 people at the Detroit Branch NAACP’s Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, Holder said an average of two young black men a week are killed in Detroit.
Saying that 60 percent of young people are exposed to violence as victims or witnesses, Holder declared, “This is shocking and all of this is unacceptable.” Holder said that’s why his office is directing resources to reduce childhood exposure to violence, raise awareness of its ramifications and study its causes. He also has a task force on youth violence that will make recommendations. “In far too many American cities, there are neighborhoods where too many kids go to prison and too few go to college, where the doors to education opportunity seem to be firmly closed,” Holder said. “And where for too many young people, funerals are more common than weddings.” Holder’s remarks came as violent crime continues to be a major issue in Detroit. Through March 21, there were 70 murders this year, a 37 percent jump over last year.