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More deaths, fewer assaults in Durham so far this year

Posted December 16, 2013
Updated December 17, 2013

Hours after two people were gunned down at Cheek Road bus stop, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez delivered his quarterly crime report to the city council. 

Despite several high-profile crimes, the numbers paint an improving picture, he said.

"We realize we have had several violent crimes that have made the headlines," Lopez said. "I am here to share information about the third quarter report, which is very good."

The report, which tracks crime through the first three quarters of 2013, shows serious violent crime in the city is down by 8 percent. The drop is due mostly to a decrease in aggravated assaults.

Homicides are up in the city. Through Sept. 30, there were 31 – 12 percent more than through the same period in 2012.

"We are investigating homicides," Lopez told the council. "We have a lot more than we have had in other years."

Mayor Bill Bell and members of the council, after voicing support for Lopez's leadership, pointed the finger at a particular problem. 

"The vast majority of it is black-on-black crime and we have to find a way to deal with that," said Bell, who is African-American.

A resident in the audience pushed back.

"We have got to get a new police chief in the city. We have had too many murders, too many deaths," the woman said.

City leaders instead called for patience, and Lopez asked, not for the first time, for help.

"We need this community to help us. It can not be the police all the time," he said.

"I do not think expecting the police chief to solve it all is a reasonable thing to expect."

The crime report was through September. Through Dec. 16, 31 homicides were recorded in Durham.


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  • kodywoof Dec 18, 2013

    Wow, just Wow. Time to change them all out.

  • BeastieBoy Dec 17, 2013

    Well, one thing's for sure, Chief Lopez certainly identified the weak link in the DPD. Now the citizens think they have to choose the punishment from the criminals. OK, Let's see.....Assault or murder? can I flip you for it? Got a quarter there good buddy?

  • Glock Ranger Dec 17, 2013

    68_dodge_polara is correct in what he said. It's not the place of the police to protect us, or to train our kids so they become productive members of society. That starts with the family and churches. These are the institutions charged with the responsibility of instilling moral values in our children.

    The community, especially the schools, are responsible with teaching the children how to interact with each other and how to read, write, etc.

    The police are responsible for enforcing the laws. It is not their duty to protect us. It's a romantic euphemism to think that the police can prevent crime. Remember, they can't arrest someone until: 1- they commit a crime, and 2-the police find them.

    When asked, may people would say that they are "christian", or "a Christian." One is an adjective, the other is an identity. Even then, many people do not understand who a Christian is. The word means little Christ, or Christ follower.

  • 678devilish Dec 17, 2013

    It's the culture they're brought up into that is causing this and it's continuing to destroy the race.

    Really? There are good kids that come from bad home. Yet there are bad kids that come from good home. After a certain age like 9 up, they know right from wrong. They do not want to listen to anyone because they think they know all. Pray for these young people

  • livinonfaith Dec 17, 2013

    A reduction of assaults by 8% is really quite good! Consider that there are an awful lot more assaults than murders. Overall the crime rate in Durham is going down. As is the case in most cities, there are certain neighborhoods where crime is concentrated. That is most likely the main source of the black on black crime that is being discussed. It is always difficult to tackle the issues that cause those higher numbers, but removing an effective police force doesn't seem to be a smart move.

  • My GOLO Screen Name Dec 17, 2013

    "The vast majority of it is black-on-black crime and we have to find a way to deal with that," said Bell, who is African-American.
    There is a valid point when people say why do you have to point out race. However, if you understood just how bad this issue is you would understand why it's necessary. There's more to these statistics...there is A LOT that goes on that doesn't wind up in a racial statistic. It needs to be recognized and we need to provide help because african americans are committing crimes and being victimized at alarming rates. It's the culture they're brought up into that is causing this and it's continuing to destroy the race.

  • sbr1963 Dec 17, 2013

    It appears that the Mayor has a grasp of what is happening in Durham and is not blaming everyone or everything else. It will be hard to come up with a solution when these young men and women committing these crimes don't care about others or their community.

  • ims1924 Dec 17, 2013

    Raleigh Rocks 1/ Are you serious or do you not understand the problem.

  • 68_dodge_polara Dec 17, 2013

    "Have you looked at the religious demographics of our prisons before?"

    If you were to ask many people in our culture to day if they are Christian before choosing to be a Christian many would say they were.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Dec 17, 2013

    So if they would not have died, then assaults would be up but murders down?

    "The vast majority of it is black-on-black crime and we have to find a way to deal with that," said Bell, who is African-American.....well, seems if you let it alone it will resolve itself.

    I do not understand why race has any part of this. Murder is Murder, white on black, black on white green on yellow.