DC’s Homicide Decline

Jason Daugherty, American Renaissance, January 17, 2012

The racial elephant the media ignore.

Even before the Times Square ball dropped to mark the New Year, Washington, DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier reported that her city’s yearly homicide tally had fallen for the third straight year. In 2011 the death toll was 109, down from 132 the previous year, and the lowest total since 1963. Washington homicide numbers have fallen rapidly since the height of the crack epidemic; in 1991, the city set its all-time record of 479 killings.

There are many reasons for the decline. There is now much less crack cocaine on the streets, especially compared to the days when DC drug kingpin Rayful Edmond ruled the town in the late 1980s. Increased surveillance, better policing, and higher incarceration rates have thwarted homicide attempts and kept killers off the streets. Major advances in medical technology have saved lives in ambulances and emergency rooms. Some observers point to the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision, which let DC residents own guns and keep them in their homes.

But there is a racial elephant in the room. DC’s black population has been declining for more than three decades. In 1970, DC was 71.1 percent black, an all-time high. By 1990, a year before the murder peak, it was 65.8 percent black, and there were 474 homicides. A decade later, DC was down to 60 percent black, and the homicide count dropped in half to 242. DC lost more than 56,000 black residents during the 1990s, more than in any other decade.

Washington’s black percentage dropped to 50.7 percent by 2010, as 38,162 more blacks left the city, despite overall population growth of 29,664 from 2000 to 2010. During the 2000s, homicides declined from 242 to 132. There is a racial element to DC’s declining homicide rate, but don’t expect to read about it in any newspapers.

Where are blacks going? Most have crossed to Maryland and settled in Prince George’s County (PGC), alongside an increasing number of Hispanic residents. The result is that PGC is more dangerous. In 2000, PGC was 27 percent white, 62.7 percent black, and 7.1 percent Hispanic and there were 71 homicides. By 2010, the population was 19.2 percent white, 64.5 percent black, and 14.9 percent Hispanic and there were 90 homicides.  Between 2000 and 2010, the number of homicides in PGC increased by 26.8 percent, while its overall population increased by only 7.7 percent.  Last year, there were 99 homicides in PGC.

Despite the decline in murders, the District remains dangerous. With its 2010 rate of 21.94 murders per 100,000 residents, DC ranked 13th worst among all U.S. cities with at least 100,000 residents. To put DC’s figures in perspective, when the District hit a 38-year low for homicides with 109, Arlington County, Virginia, just across the river and with more than one-third the population of DC, had no homicides.  Arlington is 8.23 percent black.

As is true with many cities, homicides in DC are clustered in the low-income black areas. In fact, of the 109 DC homicides in 2011, 96 were in census tracts that are majority black (and four were in majority-Hispanic tracts). Of the city’s 109 homicides, 80 took place in the two eastern quadrants, which tend to be heavily black. The census tracts around Capitol Hill, which saw only one of those 80 homicides, are the only white-majority neighborhoods in the eastern half of the city.

The two main areas of DC where blacks have been displaced are Capitol Hill and the Logan Circle/U Street neighborhoods. Capitol Hill, once considered DC’s deadliest neighborhood, is now well over 70 percent white, and has seen only six homicides in the last seven years. Logan Circle, where two decades ago one could drive by and easily pick up a prostitute, has seen only two homicides within a three-block radius of the circle in the last seven years. Massive drop offs in homicides in these two neighborhoods account for a large part of DC’s lower tallies.

The progress that Washington, DC has made in reducing murders is commendable. If advances in science and policing techniques continue as expected, and the city’s economy and racial demographics stay roughly the same, we should expect another decrease for 2012. And should the phenomenon of “black flight” from DC continue, homicide numbers will drop accordingly, as they would in any city where this happens. At the same time, if blacks continue to resettle next door in Prince George’s County, the murder rate there will rise.


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Jason Daugherty
Mr. Daugherty studied history at the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Baltimore County, Maryland, and enjoys golf and hiking.
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  • Does anyone think that there is a quiet sub rosa policy on the part of D.C.’s civic elite to encourage blacks to move out of D.C. and into PGC?  There seems to be such an effort in St. Louis and Chicago, to encourage blacks to move to North St. Louis County and South Suburban Cook, to make the cities proper safe for white liberal yuppie gentrification.

    • Anonymous

      maybe, but how would one go about doing that?

      In a hyper-race-sensitive politically-correct environment like the USA, how could one say that?

      I suppose the powers that be could make it easier to get welfare in PGC.

      • I think the question you really want to ask is this:  How could anyone get away with such a scheme in this PC climate?

        Answer:  Because the city leaders in D.C., Chicago, St. Louis, etc., who want to to de-blacken their cities are liberal Democrats, usually white liberal Democrats.  And the whites that are replacing the blacks in the cities are also Democrat voters, so the net political consequence is zero.  Therefore, big city mayors can get away with these under the radar screens to push blacks out because the left wing Justice Department won’t do anything about left wing city political machines.

        Before this conversation gets away from me, when I say “de-blacken,” I don’t mean moving people with bulldozers.  I know from talking with real estate professionals around here that St. Louis City’s public housing agency is no longer issuing Section 8 vouchers, while St. Louis County’s is.  What do you think the demographic transition will be?  Also, at least for awhile, city Catholic schools offered free tuition for certain city homebuyers who had school aged children, as an end run around the SLPS being a deal breaker for whites with children considering city real estate.

        • The big kicker was when the city pushed to have Verizon Center and then later the Nationals’ stadium built. Slums and section-8 housing were bulldozed. With increased commercial investment in the area, property values rose. Only yuppies can afford that, and since the DC schools still sucked, only childless yuppies (therefore guaranteed to be 100% Democrat) sought to move there.

          Hence, “gentrification.”

          When property values rise, low-income blacks and slumlords can’t afford the property taxes anymore. As more blacks move into PG County, property values plummet, making housing even more affordable, which encourages even more low-income minorities to move there. It is a death spiral.

    • Marc B.

      Section 8 housing is how they did it in NYC. White Plains, NY, along with other cities in the four-state area surrounding the NYC metro area have been the recipient of the urban predators cleverly exported for the rich liberal folks now populating the Lower East side and looking for “good schools”.

  • wmarkw

    Mr. Daugherty, it looks like you have Census Tract data from the 2000 and 2010 Censuses.  Do you have the ability to compare each tract’s  population change and its homicide change comparing those two years?

  • Anonymous

    Those in real estate say there are three things that matter: location, location, location. Actually the three things that matter are: neighbors, neighbors, neighbors. If a city can attract high IQ people with advanced degrees, the crime rate will decline. 

    • Yup. There is a reason Loudoun County and other Northern Virginia counties still have high housing prices. When people say “good schools,” they really mean very few low-income minorities.

    • Joe Vaughan

       You are failing to account for the fraudulent nature of most American university degrees, advanced or otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    Same in Detroit.  I lived in the city for 32 years.  We kept moving within the city limits to get away from black violence.  Finally, we had no where else to run and left the city limits. 

    Each time it was the same story, the neighborhood began to turn black, crime went up, property values and SAT scores went down.  We moved 3 times during my childhood.    I could tell ya some stories about black on white crime!  Every person in my family has been robbed or assaulted by a black.  

    The first blacks to move into any white neighborhood are almost always nice middle class people attempting to escape from their own.  As time goes on, more and more move in and the quality of both blacks and whites drops.  Forced busing in the 70s made my school go from 90% white to 50/50.  Fighting the blacks for your luch money while being called a racist was just too much by high school and we all went to private secondary schools.  Only blacks and the poorest whites went to public schools.  I hear it is the same in Chicago.   The forced busing escalated white flight from Detroit.

    Detroit USED to require that cops and firefighters live in the city.  My old neighborhood had at least one white cop living in every block because  it was one of the last white areas in the city.  Needless to say, it was a safe place to live.   After a lawsuit forced the city to let cops move out of the city, that was the kiss of death to the few remaining decent areas. 

    Anyway, Detroit is now slowly turning white again.  Blacks are now going to the burbs and the same thing is happening there, property values dropping, SAT scores dropping, crime increasing.   Yuppies are moving into SELECT small areas of Detroit downtown.  If we have another race riot, the yuppies will come running out like scalded dogs.  

    Except for the lakes, Michigan really doesn’t have much to go for it anymore.  Too cold in the winter and the summers are too short.  Powerful unions ran off much of the good auto industry jobs.  We are left with jobless black folks who think everything wrong with them is the fault of whites.    I am leaving when I retire.

    I honestly think that Detroit is the future of America.  Whites will keep moving until they have no place left to go.    Sad but true.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Well said, Detroit WASP. I agree with you that after white flight the quality of the remaining Caucasians drops-  you see  white drunks and junkies hanging around outside the bodegas.

      The elderly whites are the exception: goodhearted retirees who refuse to leave “their” hometown. Many of them become prey for  these jungle savages. 

      • Joe Vaughan

         Nothing could possibly be lower on the human scale than the yuppy trash of Logan Circle. 

    • I’m with you. I’m seeing the same thing happen before my eyes right now on Warren’s South side.

      I moved into this house a little over a year ago. It was a predominantly white neighborhood which was quiet and peaceful except for the oddball idiot in the $500 car with the $8000 stereo that breezed through. There was one mixed-race couple with no children on the block, and one middle-class black family down at the end of the street.

      Now, there’s no less than a half-dozen black “families” on the block, probably more. The ones with younger children keep quiet and don’t cause any trouble. I even went across the street one day last summer to buy a glass of lemonade from a stand the kids had set up, and met the parents and thought them decent enough people.

      The ones with teenage children are causing a lot of woe for my neighbors and myself, especially the ones with teenage daughters. Teenage daughters means teenage boys lurking around, all of them trying to impress with how loud they stand and talk in driveways at 3am, how loud their car stereos are, and so on.

      Its amazing how fast a neighborhood can go to hell. Robberies, assaults and home invasions have tripled in this part of town in the last year.

    • Anonymous

      I was in the same situation, some time ago.  I had lived next to “decent” black neighbors on Detroit’s east side.  The problems arose when their “cousins” and other relatives came to visit.  The last straw was when their “kin” started trespassing, using my yard as a urinal and telling me to “f–k off” when calling them out on it.  My “nice” black neighbor told me “boys will be boys”.  That was the beginning of the end . . . the break ins that followed and the general disrespect that blacks have for us “honkies” sealed the deal . . .

  • Anonymous

    Good heavens!  Does this mean…umm, that reducing the number of blacks reduces violent crime?

    Naahh, that can’t be it.

  • Anonymous

    Why is that people who can see racism in the way a tree bends in the wind and discrimination in the phases of the moon cannot see a relationship between a declining black population and a declining murder rate?

    • B

      For the same reason a person can view a corpse and think the dead person’s memory and awareness are still functining, off somewhere else. It’s because they don’t want to see it.

    • Joe Vaughan

       Jack, your nick completely reflects your qualities as a human being.  You’re all crack buddy–unwashed and three miles wide.

  • Anonymous

    Of course!  Cherchez le negre.

  • For my politics, I would like to believe you.  But I don’t think the Heller decision and the subsequent re-legalization of handgun ownership in D.C. had much of an effect.  First, there aren’t enough people who want to own firearms in D.C. to make a big difference, most D.C. whites are liberal anti-gun yuppies.  Second, there still is no CCW in D.C., so you can’t have the legal handgun outside of your house.  If D.C. gets, or is forced to recognize, CCW, then that will help a lot.

    But, for now, the declining black population is a far better explanation.

  • Screamin’ Ruffed Grouse

    It should be noted that when they say blacks are moving out of DC into PGC, we’re not talking about a major migration. Satellite cities like Cheverly, Hyattsville, Oxon Hill and the like are a stone’s throw outside the borders of NE & SE DC and are utterly indistinguishable. Their increase in crime rates are directly proportional to DC’s decline, unsurprisingly.

    These areas are cheaper, and MD pols are always happy to accommodate any population transfer from DC into MD, especially minorities & government employees, as this adds more voters for the MD dems and strengthens their grip on PG & Montgomery counties.

    • Anonymous

      Yep.  “Inside the Beltway” is commonly heard on pundit talking-head shows to describe a news story about lobbyists and other Washington insiders playing the political game.But to someone living in or near PG County, it means “where the suburban slums are.”  The PG County 2011 homicide map:http://tinyurl.com/7bos6zm

  • John Maddox

    But Obama and the JD and their liberal democrat allies still insist that if we just ban all semi automatic weapons and handguns we will eliminate the carnage.

    This article should be an eye opener for all American citizens that value their second amendment rights. There is a racial element to crime and a racial element to gun control.
    It is a fact that when citizens are armed the criminal element will seek safer climes. If they suspect you might be armed and appear to be a threat you are less likely to be a victim.

    I know I was faced with a potentially hostile threat not too long ago and I reached inside my jacket as if I were armed and the individual who was armed gave me a wide berth. 

  • Joe Vaughan

    The yuppie plague not only affects non-elite people of color, it affects everybody.

    Most particularly, the bullying and violence of young, white yuppie men–a forbidden topic–makes these neighborhoods far more dangerous for older citizens than in the past.

    Everywhere you go, this parasitic scum are pushing anyone who looks older and weaker off the sidewalks, shoving people aside in stores, and calling out age-related insults  and verbally harassing anyone who fails to step aside when they demand the right of way (invariable in contradiction to the rules of the road, which as these subhumans apparently fail to realize, apply to sidewalks too).  When challenged, they attack in gangs.  If you defend yourself against one of these gangs, they call the police and complain falsely that they are the ones being attacked.  They spit,  kick,  punch, call names, emit a continuous stream of threats, and jump you from behind because in addition to being parasites, they are abject cowards.

    I say nothing of the loudmouthed yuppie drunks staggering up and down 14th street on Friday and Saturday nights as early as ten thirty or eleven at night.

    Non-elite people of color exhibiting public drunknenness like these disgusting brats would find themselves spreadeagled over a squad car in less time than it takes to read these words.

    This is a problem that is simply being swept under the rug. But some citizens refuse to take this criminal behavior lying down.   If something is not done to curb these overprivileged, unproductive parasites, sooner or later there will be blood.

    These people contribute nothing to society and consider themselves above the law.  The  blatant delinquency of their everyday behavior testifies to a sense of entitlement that has to be struck down, if not by one means, then by another. If the police insist on protecting them, who will take action? 

    There should be mass protests in Logan Circle against gentrification and the servile behavior of the police toward these socially undesirable elements.

    A good start would be to bring saws and cut the middle arms off the Logan Circle park benches which were put in to chase the homeless out of  the Circle. Quite frankly, the homeless were a far more suitable adornment than the filth who disport themselves there now, Memorial Day flowers and all. 

    Nothing can improve the looks of that grim Victorian monstrosity of a statue, with its frieze of bloated Republicans in frock coats, but the clownish pretensions of today’s Gilded Age riffraff certainly make it uglier than it is by itself.

    The city was strange before, but these parasites are destroying it completely.