Wisconsin 8th In Nation In Black Homicides

70 Percent Of Black Homicides In State Were From Gunshot Wounds

So far this year there have been four gun homicides in the state. Two of the victims were black and two were white. Photo: Ian Britton (CC-BY-NC)

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a continuing series on gun deaths in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin has eighth-highest number of black homicides in the country, according to a new report from the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and about 70 percent of those victims died from gunshot wounds.

The report, based on 2011 numbers, found the homicide rate for African-Americans in Wisconsin was 15 percent higher than the national rate, with African-Americans accounting for 61 percent of the homicides in the state. Wisconsin ranked just above West Virginia and just below Kansas.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Josh Sugarmann, at the Violence Policy Center, said the goal of producing the ranking is to raise public awareness about what he calls a public health crisis.

“We have found in some states, for lack of a better term, a more wholistic approach where you have most of the community — law enforcement to the religious community to civic organizations, to the schools — coming together to address the problem and talk about solutions,” Sugarmann said.

Crime data reported by the state for 2012 showed a 10-percent drop in racial disparity, from 61 percent black victims in 2011 to 51 percent in 2012. That could be a result of the mass shooting at the Sikh temple in Brookfield and two other multiple murders that year where the victims weren’t black.

So far this year, there have been four gun homicides in the state. Two of the victims were black and two were white.

The most recent took place on Wednesday in Waukesha, where police have charged a man with shooting his father to death after an argument over loud music and the son’s lack of a job.