Detroit Homicides Climb 10%, Above 'Murder Capital' Era

City now the most dangerous of America's 20 most populous

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 31, 2012 11:50 AM CST

(Newser) – Detroit lived up to its dangerous reputation this year, as its murder rate shot up 10% to 53 per 100,000 residents—making it higher now than it was 40 years ago, when the city was first nicknamed the "Murder Capital," the Detroit News reports. That also made Detroit the most dangerous of America's 20 most populous city, and second only to New Orleans among all cities with at least 200,000 residents.

"This is a problem that just keeps festering," says one retired police detective. "It's a sad thing to see." Experts blame the city's falling income levels, the drug trade, and a violent culture for the spike. "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."

A Detroit Police officer guards the entrance to the department's 6th Precinct in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, after a shooting there.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The exterior of a house on Tacoma Street is shown in Detroit, Dec. 5, 2012. Detroit police say they've found the bodies of four adults who were apparently shot at a house on the east side.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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