Friday, May 17, 2024

Report: Shreveport metro area murder rate is three times the national average

by BIZ Magazine

By Victor Skinner | The Center Square contributor

The murder rate for the Bossier City-Shreveport area was more than three times the national average in 2022, up about 25% since before the pandemic, according to a new report.

Analysis from the nonpartisan Wirepoints research company released Thursday shows a total of 52 homicides in the Bossier City-Shreveport area in 2022 resulted in a per capita rate of 21.1 per 100,000 residents. The 2022 numbers include 47 homicides in Shreveport and five in Bossier City.

Those figures mark a sharp increase from 2019, when 43 murders produced a per-capita rate of 16.8 per 100,000, when accounting for the cities’ combined populations. Shreveport reported 37 homicides in 2019, while Bossier City reported six.

The 2022 combined homicide rate equates to more than 3.2 times the national average of 6.5 per 100,000 in 2020, the most recent reliable national calculation available.

“Local governments in America’s homicide hot-spots continue to falter in their role as protectors of public safety two years removed from George Floyd and the worst of the pandemic,” Wirepoints Senior Editor Matt Rosenberg said. “City leaders are still searching for answers as their communities become increasingly fractured by violent crime and homicide.”

The Wirepoints report ranked the nation’s 75 largest cities by both the total number of murders and homicide rates, with Louisiana’s New Orleans ranked in first for the highest per-capita rate of 74.3.

The analysis shows the Bossier City-Shreveport rate is comparable to other large cities in the top 10 total ranking. Chicago, which ranked number one for total homicides, produced a homicide rate of 25.8 in 2022, while the rate in fourth place Houston was 19.

The data also shows the Bossier City-Shreveport rate is growing faster than in some of the country’s most dangerous cities.

The roughly 25% increase in the Bossier City-Shreveport murder rate between 2019 and 2022 outpaced Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Cincinnati, all cities ranked in the top 20 for the 2022 homicide rate.

The Wirepoints report placed the blame for the increasing violence on a failure of city leaders to take swift action to address the issue.

“Unfortunately, city leaders continue to put politics ahead of saving lives,” Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said. “Local politicians put the interests of the criminal class above the safety of their communities and the Blacks and Latinos who are the overwhelming victims of urban violence.”

Wirepoints argues the solution is a “new class of urban political leaders” with the bravery to implement serious change.

“U.S. homicide hubs need a new class of urban leaders who can bring more than the tired and defensive political rhetoric of the past to a now stubbornly pervasive threat,” researchers wrote. “Sadly, it’s very unclear if or when that time will actually come. And until it does, the tragedies will continue.”

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