There was good news and bad news when it came to May’s homicide count in Allegheny County.
First, the bad news. The actual number of homicides in May was twice the number in April.
But the good news was, even though the number was higher, the percentage of homicide victims that were Black, 60, was at a near all-time low.
Even the overall percentage this year is lower. Normally the percentage is up around 80 to 90 percent, but so far this year it’s down to 70 percent. As of May 31, 28 of the 40 homicides this year in the county were Black lives.
There were only four homicides in April, three were Black males and one White female.
Three of the four homicides involving Whites in May were domestic and much older. An 83-year-old man killed his 80-year-old wife, then committed suicide, a daughter killed her 69-year-old father and a girlfriend killed her 23-year-old live-in boyfriend.
The Black males, as usual, were much younger, with two of the six being teenagers, 17 and 18. The others were 25, 25, 31 and 34 years old. And, as usual, the shooters of the Blacks have not been found, as compared to the Whites. However, that is mostly because the Whites and Asian homicides were domestic, in which the husband killed the wife, the girlfriend kills the boyfriend and the daughter killed the father with the mother there.
Another thing I’ve noticed in the past few years is that there are more head shots to make sure the victim dies instead of the wild drive-bys of previous years.
My daughter was surprised to find on this year’s list of homicides the young man who took her to the prom six years ago. He was gunned down in front of a bar talking to friends. These killings are not only getting younger, with a 14-year-old last month, and a 17 and 18-year-old this month, but even young mothers such as the 25-year-old mother of twins. Now those kids will have to grow up without a mother.
The New Pittsburgh Courier has been publishing the homicide count the past several years in an effort to illustrate that Blacks Lives Matter regardless of who kills them, in an effort to stop the killing of our young Black males.
Hopefully the Courier will continue this effort until the count is zero.
Hiring more Blacks
in city government
I am hoping and praying that Janet Manuel, the new deputy director of personnel and civil service, can do what has never been done before—get more Blacks on the police force, like 20 to 30 percent, as well as more Blacks employed across the board in city positions, not just as police officers.
Former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper tried to get more Black police officers but was always shot down by someone or more, just when he thought he had the proper people selected, which was extremely frustrating to him. But maybe finally we have a mayor who will stand with Manuel as she fights for diversity in city employment.
Hopefully the community groups will continue to keep the pressure on the city and Manuel to produce to the point where we begin to see more Black faces in city government across the board.
Meanwhile Esther Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, and other community leaders at the annual Urban League State of Black Pittsburgh forum (June 1) stated that even though Pittsburgh is making progress in diversity, it has a long way to go. Carl Redwood, of the Hill District Consensus Group, stated that the city is losing thousands of Blacks to the suburbs while others are being lost to other cities because of the lack of diversity in Western Pennsylvania.
“A part of the role that I have is reminding folks throughout this community and certainly within the organization that because you hire diversity does not mean that you lesson quality. Through having a diverse workforce becomes better problem solvers, we become better decision makers, we become better at providing high-quality care to our diverse patient population,” Dr. James E. Taylor, chairman of diversity and inclusion for UPMC, said in an article by Rob Taylor Jr., in the June 7 Courier.
President Donald Trump watch
Well, practically all the news from the major media last week was dominated by the James Comey testimony. He is, of course, the former FBI director who was fired by Trump several weeks ago. In Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, broadcast all over the nation, he said President Trump lied about their meeting. Then later when questioned about the Comey statements, the President said that Comey is, “a liar.” So, we are back to he said vs. he said. Are we ever going to get back to jobs, employment, and the economy?
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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