Detroit, MI – Do we have the technology to build a RoboCop yet? Because it looks like Detroit desperately needs one. The murder rate in the city shot up 10 percent this year, to a higher point than 40 years ago when it was nicknamed the “Murder Capital” of the US.
The 10 percent mark translates into 53 murders per 100,000 citizens, and cements Detroit’s dubious reputation as the most dangerous city among the 20 most populous in these United States, reports Newser. Detroit is second in murder only to New Orleans among all cities with at least 200,000 residents.
Detroit News reports that while murders have declined nationwide over the past several years, Detroit homicides in 2012 surpassed the 344 mark for 2011 by Thanksgiving Day. As of yesterday (Sunday), the toll was 379, putting the city on the “most homicides” path since 2008. Additionally, Detroit’s population is dwindling, which adds to the problem. As it stands, the rate today is worse than in 1974, when Detroit had a record 714 murders.
“This is a problem that just keeps festering,” says one retired police detective. “It’s a sad thing to see.”
Experts blame the increase in homicides on the city’s dwindling income levels, the drug trade, and an increasingly violent culture.
“I can tell you where the more violent parts of the country are going to be by sitting here at my desk and looking at income data,” says one criminal justice professor at the University of Detroit. “I don’t even have to look at crime data.”
Some citizens of Detroit seem to have accepted the violence in the city. “When I was on the police force, I talked to a kid who was selling dope, and he says, ‘What am I supposed to do? Flip burgers?’ I said, ‘But if you keep dealing dope, you’re going to get killed.’ He says, ‘That’s my problem, not yours,’ ” remarked a retired Detroit cop.