Data compiled by the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission (MHRC) shows that for the year 2012, 93 percent of the known murder suspects had criminal backgrounds. And it reveals most of the murder suspects were black, and the victims the same.
The MHRC, established in January of 2005, is a central component of the city’s violence prevention efforts. The MHRC draws on public health and criminal justice approaches and was designed to gain a better understanding of homicide through strategic problem analysis, innovative and effective response and prevention strategies, and focus on prevention and intervention resources.
In the city of 597,867 people, there were 91 murders in 2012, with 80 percent of the victims being black and 75 percent of the known suspects also being black.
Six percent of the homicide victims were white, with five percent of known suspects being white.
Twelve percent of the victims were Hispanic and 19 percent of the known suspects also Hispanic.
The city of Milwaukee itself is 40 percent black, 17 percent Latino, and 37 percent white.
Of known 2011 homicide suspects in Milwaukee, 93 percent are black, while 4 percent are white and Latino.
In homicides where the weapon utilized for murder was known, a handgun was used 100 percent of the time. Contrary to the myth of gang disputes being the cause behind high homicide rates, only one percent of 2012 homicides were gang related.
The MHRC also tracks nonfatal shootings, with 508 of these occurring in Milwaukee in 2012.
The data concludes that 89 percent of the suspects in these nonfatal shootings are black, with 88 percent of the victims also being black; five percent of the victims are white, with two percent of suspects also being white; and seven percent of the suspects being Hispanic, with six percent of the victims being Hispanic.
In a prior article published at WND.com, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee sociology professor Aki Roberts shared his view of these troubling patterns.
“Milwaukee’s discrepancy does appear to be larger than the national average. Part of the reason may be that Milwaukee is one of most racially segregated cities in the United States,” he says.
Roberts added, “In 2011, the black unemployment rate in Milwaukee was 22.4 percent compared to 9.6 percent for whites and 16.7 percent for Hispanics,” which “parallels the racial disparity in homicide rates in Milwaukee.”
However, as the homicide report shows, the black murder rate is 14 times the white murder rate, while the black unemployment rate is double the white unemployment rate. From a different angle, Hispanics and blacks have a similar unemployment rate, yet the Hispanic murder rate is one third of the black rate.
The relationship between unemployment and crime is murky at best. Harvard sociologist Christopher Winship tells WND, “Research on the relationship between unemployment and crime, although considerable in quantity, has produced ambiguous results, with some work showing a positive relationship and other work a negative relationship.”
There have been times when severe unemployment has occurred while crime rates drop.
“Most surprising, crime rates went down during the Great Depression. In the current recession they have been at 40-year lows,” Winship points out.
Milwaukee is among the 20 most violent cities in the country. By far, the largest number of homicides in Milwaukee occurred in one much-discussed Zip Code, 53206.
A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee project says, “The 53206 Zip Code neighborhood serves as a bellwether for poverty changes in Milwaukee and nationally.”
The report also notes, “In the 1990s prior to welfare reform in Wisconsin it had the largest number of families receiving AFDC.”
For the 2012 year, 16 of the 91 murders occurred in this Zip Code and 96 of the 508 nonfatal shootings happened here.
In 2011, 17 of the 86 homicides in Milwaukee occurred in 53206. Between 2005-2009, there were 95 homicides in this Zip Code out of 473 in the city as a whole. That’s 20 percent of all homicides, occurring in a Zip Code with less than 5 percent (28,210) of the city’s 594,833 population.
Blacks comprise 96 percent of the Zip Code, Latinos are 2.1 percent, and whites are 1.6 percent.
WND previously reported on that area in Milwaukee where half of the housing loans are for investors, 60 subprime lenders operate, and 90 percent of family income-tax filers are single parents.
That would be that Zip Code 53206, a key component of what’s been described as Milwaukee’s welfare magnet.