Young Murder Victims Up In Cincinnati; Prosecutor Cites Entertainment


In Cincinnati, the proportion of homicide victims who are juveniles is increasing. A Cincinnati Enquirer analysis shows that the proportion of victims younger than 18 has risen to roughly 1 in 7 in 2013 and 2012, compared with an overall rate of 1 in 10 from 2000 through 2011. Four of the juvenile homicide victims last year were 1 or younger, including a fetus who died when its mother was strangled to death. “Working in the community, the element we see is a lack of control of the frustration and anger that many young people are feeling, which turns into violence,” said Ennis Tait, pastor of Church of the Living God, Avondale. Tait has been an anti-violence crusader through his church's nonprofit arm, Project Nehemiah Ceasefire. “And for many of our youngsters, their initiation into manhood involves gun violence.”

Police say most of the juvenile victims were involved in drug sales, drug-related robberies or retaliations. “If there is any trend, it is juvenile involvement, period,” said Rob Sanders, commonwealth's attorney for the 16th Judicial Circuit, Kenton County. “If there's not a juvenile victim, there is a juvenile defendant.” He added: “Movies, music videos, song lyrics, video games – violence has made its way into our entertainment industry. So many of the young people who consume this don't have the life experience to know there are consequences.”

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