Nearly half of murder victims black

Aug. 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A U.S. Justice Department study has found that nearly half of the country's murder victims each year are African American.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics analyzed FBI homicide reports and the National Crime Victimization Survey to conclude that blacks are disproportionately victimized by violent crime, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The study also found that between 2001 and 2005, more than 90 percent of black murder victims were killed by members of the same race and three fourths of the victims were killed with guns. During the time period, African Americans, who make up 13 percent of the population in the United States, were victims in 15 percent of violent crimes.

"Black victimization is a real problem, and it's often black on black," said David Harris, a law professor at the University of Toledo who studies crime trends. "That aspect has to be brought into any attempt to address the crime problem, and the community itself must be called into the process."

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