Six months into 2017, St. Louis, Baltimore and Detroit are on pace to maintain their dubious distinction as the per-capita homicide leaders among major American cities, reports The Trace. Baltimore is on track to have the highest number of homicides per capita in the city’s history, and St. Louis faces its highest rates since the crack wars of the 1990s. Like last year, firearms were used in a broad majority of the 2017 cases–96 percent of the 94 homicides in St. Louis, 88 percent of Baltimore’s 170 homicides, and 81 percent of Detroit’s 136 homicides.
In Baltimore, desperate residents and community activists have launched a campaign for a 72-hour ceasefire on the first weekend of August. Their message: “Nobody kill anybody.” But crime patterns dim the hopes for a reprieve since gun homicide numbers usually increase in the second half of the year. Crime in the U.S., including murder, has fallen dramatically nationwide since the 1990s. But in individual cities, and especially individual neighborhoods, the picture looks different. According to an April 2017 report by the Brennan Center, the 2016 murder rate for the 30 largest American cities increased by 14 percent from 2015.