Crime wave continues

caines | 6/21/2012, 6 a.m.

Leaders blame lack of education as key problem

Assaults and murders in Miami-Dade County have decreased in the past three years but the number level of Blacks being murdered by other Blacks continue to rise both locally and nationally. From 2009 to 2012 there were roughly 35 Blacks murdered in Miami's Northside District alone. Over half of those murders were committed by other Black men and women. According to the City of Miami Police Department, they handle about 70 such murders each year an improvement, they say, when compared to prior decades. "When I came into the Department the numbers were in the 200s,"said Major Delrish Moss, City of Miami Police Department and a 28-year veteran. There is still a lot of room for improvement." Statistics show that violent crimes have risen including robbery and rape in South Floridas predominantly-Black neighborhoods: Overtown, Liberty City and Miami Gardens.

Contributing factors analyzed

"It is more common for people who live within close proximity to each other to care enough to actually murder someone," Moss said. "And violence does not just include Blacks its part of the American culture and is usually the lower economic rung of society which is, unfortunately, more Blacks. He adds that contrary to popular belief, gang activity is not the only culprit contributing to Black-on-Black crime. I think there are a number of factors, he said. A lot of it has to do with teaching responsibility especially starting with the youth and teaching them there are consequences to actions. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson believes we can reduce crime by focusing on education. The key to the next level of life is a high school diploma, she said. There are thousands of Black boys roaming Florida because they dont have their key to life. Without a diploma they become more likely to commit crime, end up in prison and earn far less over their careers. Not every child needs a college degree, but every child needs a key to the future. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011 there were 279, 384 Black murder victims. Using the 94 percent figure, 262, 621 of these murders were committed by other Blacks says Black economist Walter E. Williams author of Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed On Discrimination? "Black civil rights groups stand up for thugs," he said. You don't see them marching when a woman gets raped but you see them marching when a cop beats somebody up." Brother Lyle Muhammad, a local ordained minister at Muhammads Mosque 29 in Liberty City, runs several youth programs for at-risk teen boys. He said the solution to prevent ongoing Black-on-Black crime begins with a spiritual approach. There seems to be a continuing trend or downward spiral that devalues Black life as insignificant, he said. The type of carnage and violence we are witnessing could not be taking place unless our government and criminal justice systems are complacent and let it happen. By Latoya Burgesslburgess@miamitimesonline.com