Murders of Blacks, Hispanics Still Outpace Other Groups in Dallas

Dallas Police Crime Scene Unit
Dallas Police Crime Scene Unit | Image by WFAA

The vast majority of murder victims in Dallas this year have been either black or Hispanic males, continuing the trend seen last year.

Data from the City’s victim demographics dashboard shows that of the 68 criminal homicides logged this year as of May 2, 46 of the victims were black, and 17 were Hispanic.

A total of 38 black males were killed compared to eight black females. While the median age of black male victims was 28 years old — the youngest being 16 and the oldest being 56 — the median age was 32 for black females. The youngest black female murder victim was 17, and the oldest was 80.

For Hispanic murder victims, similar ratios were logged. The median age of the 15 Hispanic males killed this year was 27 years old, with the youngest victim being 15 and the oldest 44. Two Hispanic women were murdered, and they were aged 27 and 31.

When the 10 incidents of negligent manslaughter and five justifiable homicides are taken into account, the death toll of Dallas minorities through violent or criminally negligent means reaches 61. Overall, only four of these victims were white.

As covered previously by The Dallas Express, black and Hispanic people comprised the overwhelming majority of victims of murder last year, figuring 134 and 81, respectively. The total number of murders within city limits was 246. These same demographics also appeared most frequently as the victims of other violent offenses, including aggravated assault and sexual assault.

Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn King Arnold characterized the recent spike in murders in District 4, which she represents, as a situation pitting “black men against black men” at a community meeting addressing public safety.

“That’s tragic,” she said, as reported by The Dallas Express.

The solutions discussed by Arnold and other attendees, such as Dallas ISD Trustee Maxie Johnson and local Dallas police commanders, centered around the need to involve the community in efforts to curb violent crime. From adults providing positive role models for children to community members alerting police to any problems, a proactive and multi-actor approach was encouraged.

“If we hear gunshots at night, we hear folks out making doughnuts … You got 15 other people on that block that hear it. This has to be a ‘we’ thing now,” Arnold said.

Community-based initiatives to curb crime have been a critical part of DPD’s violent crime reduction plan. Although there has been some success, crime overall remains high citywide — in large part due to a longstanding officer deficit.

A City analysis previously recommended a police force of about 4,000 to adequately address public safety needs and keep police response times low, yet DPD fields only around 3,000 officers. Another resource issue likely dampening policing efforts has been the $654 million budget allocated to DPD this fiscal year by City leaders. This represents considerably less spending on policing in Dallas than in other high-crime jurisdictions, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

When compared to Fort Worth’s city center, which is patrolled by a specialized neighborhood police unit and private security guards, Downtown Dallas persistently puts up higher crime figures. An analysis of crime data for March by the Metroplex Civic & Business Association found that eight times more crimes were reported in the latter.

The Dallas Express, The People’s Paper, believes that important information about the City, such as crime rates and trends, should be easily accessible. Dallas has more crime per capita than hotspots like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York, according to data from the FBI’s UCR database.

How did your area stack up on crime? Check out our interactive Crime Map to compare all Dallas City Council Districts. Curious how we got our numbers? Check out our methodology page here.

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