Local News

Federal report outlines problems, solutions for Durham's violent crime

Posted April 22, 2015

— The murder rate of young black men in Durham is eight times higher than the national average, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The troubling statistic regarding black males ages 15 to 34 was part of a report on how to curb violent crime in the city, which has seen an uptick in gun-related violence recently.

City leaders asked the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs to compile the report, which includes a list of recommendations. The city is eligible for training and technical assistance from the DOJ to implement the recommendations.

DOJ analysts spent months collecting Durham’s crime data and interviewing residents as part of their report. Numbers show aggravated assaults with a firearm spiked in 2014 to 577 cases, compared with 385 in 2013 and 461 in 2012.

DOJ senior specialists Scott Decker and Hildy Saizow delivered the report to city leaders and other stakeholders during a meeting Wednesday. Decker challenged those in the audience to think of the homicide rate among young black men in terms of other public policy issues such as illiteracy, teen pregnancy or influenza.

“If you think of any of these social conditions, which are troubling and problematic, were eight times higher for a population subgroup than the overall U.S. rate, it ought to cause an outrage. It ought to cause a call to action,” Decker said.

The report recommends that Durham leaders coordinate a community response to gun violence, increase confidence in the police department, improve relations between police and residents, address barriers in the community and adopt proactive, long-term strategies for law enforcement.

Decker and Saizow said the federal agency would continue to offer assistance beyond the report.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Brian Jones Apr 25, 2015
    user avatar

    This racial demographic commits the highest murder rate in every country on the planet; (where they are present in any numbers).......schools, governments and liberals can spend their whole lives trying to change this fact......They are never going to get it done.

  • Rick Price Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Get rid of the worthless judges and the worthless police chief for starters . Bring in some real tough on criminals judges and D.A.'s and a police chief that is a true LEO and not a YES man for the city council . The city of Durham WAS a great place , NOW it is a crime pit .

  • Alexia Proper Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    If wealth is glorified, that's really a problem since it makes it very hard to be happy, because most people never become wealthy.

    As for routes to a successful career, the majority of Americans have the same opportunities. Being poor isn't an excuse. In fact, Pell Grants almost make college free. But, you have to do good in school to get them.

    The biggest problems really are the improper home education, values, and focus on what leads to a successful life: education and hard work.

  • Derric Fuller Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Until they get out of jail, most worse off than they were than when they went in. I'd love to put all of them in jail, but that's never a permanent solution for anything, outside of the death penalty, that is.

  • Paul Donovan Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    They are making the same old recommendations that the Durham PD has been stating as its goals for decades now.

  • Sam Adams Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    How is any of this news? These issues and the supposed solution has been stated for several decades now.

  • Quinn Satterthwaite Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    adopt proactive, long-term strategies for law enforcement.So Stop and Frisk.

    Get on it Durham.

  • Corey Jenkins Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Spend a weekend in Rocky Mount. You will think that Durham is a safe haven after that.

  • Will Sonnett Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    The City of Durham, the DOJ, and liberals at large will use this to blame guns and never consider that liberal social policies that have trapped minorities in a never-ending cycle of poverty, are the root of the problem.

  • Sean Creasy Apr 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Here's a thought... Make the parents responsible for what their children do... I bet these figures would go way down if some parents were punished for letting their kids roam freely with no supervision.