With a total of 61 as of Nov. 30, Allegheny County has seen a decrease in the number of Black homicides since this time last year, when there were 73. In fact, the overall number of homicides has decreased. By the end of November 2012 there were 91 homicides; as of Dec. 1 there have been 86. We are on track to a less deadly year than 2012, which ended with 94 homicides.

However, though homicides are slightly down, we, as a community, must still be mindful that while people are not dying as often, the senseless gun violence is still occurring and at an alarming rate. Our young people continue to be paralyzed, whether physically or emotionally. We must continue to work together to find the solution to this epidemic of senseless violence; our future generations are depending on it.

As part of an ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the effects of murder in Black communities, the New Pittsburgh Courier will compile a list of homicides in the County each month. It is our hope that as the list of victims grows, so will a true understanding of how these lost lives affect the mental health, economic well-being and self-images of the region’s Black neighborhoods.

Out of the 86 murders, thus far, in 2013–61 were Black and 52 were Black men.

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