Thursday, June 07, 2018

Where Murders Go Unsolved

The Washington Post has mapped 52,000 homicides in American cities to determine the areas where murders are common but go unsolved. Murder with Impunity includes maps of a number of cities showing areas where homicides have a high arrest rate and the areas where they have a low arrest rate.

The Washington Post's maps show block by block where murders are going unpunished. In some cities, like Chicago and Baltimore, the areas where murders go unsolved are very large. In other cities, such as Atlanta and Richmond the police have high arrest rates in most areas, even in the most violent neighborhoods.

In most cities the low arrest zones are mainly in areas with a high proportion of low-income black residents. In many of these areas the police blame low arrest rates on the unwillingness of witnesses to cooperate with police. There definitely seems to be a trend for low arrest rates to occur in areas where there is poor communication between the police and the communities that they serve.

As well as mapping the homicide data and arrest rates the Washington Post has sorted the data by the victim’s race, age and gender. You can explore the data further in the Post's Unsolved Homicide Database. The Unsolved Homicide Database allows you to enter any major city to view a map of areas with low and high homicide arrest rates. You can also download the data to use in your own visualizations.

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