By Cyril Josh Barker, Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News
Homicides increased in New York City and murders among Blacks went up in 2010, according to the NYPD. The information was published in the NYPD’s report “Murder in New York City: 2010.”
In 2010, a total of 536 homicides occurred in the city. There was a 31 percent increase in Blacks who were murdered last year while there was a 27 percent decrease in Whites who were murdered.
Brooklyn was labeled the deadliest borough, having 24 percent of the city’s homicides, specifically in the East New York neighborhood, which had 33 reported murders.
Marq Claxton of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance said the news is a message and an excuse for the NYPD to police even harder in the Black community. While many might see the news as a startling wake-up call for Black New Yorkers, Claxton feels it unfairly labels Blacks as dangerous.
“When the stats were first released, the first thing I thought was that the NYPD was preparing for an increased offensive against Blacks in general,” Claxton said. “This type of information is usually hard to get out of the NYPD. The police commissioner is planning major offensives targeting Black folks. You can expect an increase in stop-and-frisk and criminal court summons.”
Various factors for the increase in Black murders include lack of housing, education, and jobs. A breakdown in families and the economy are also factors.
Claxton said, “A lot of our people get into the ‘I got to get mine’ mindset. Blacks feel a strong sense of the lack of opportunity in our neighborhoods, and drugs and guns are also high on the list.”
With regards to fixing the problem within the Black community, Claxton said that the same level of anger that Blacks get from violent crimes committed on Blacks by non-Blacks should be the same when Black-on-Black crime occurs.
“These are not strangers who are committing these crimes,” he said. “They are our neighbors, people we socialize with, people we grew up with. We know who’s doing it and we have the tools to be proactive and defeat this in our communities.”