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With six homicides in January, 2013 is on track to being a deadly year, like that of 2012. Last year, Allegheny County saw 96 homicides, and like this year, ended January with six homicides, five being Black individuals.
January homicides included tragic ones like that of a 33-year-old mother and student killed senselessly by her boyfriend, but yet could have possibly been saved if authorities practiced their correct training; a 16-year-old high school student, described as being a good boy, killed while walking home from a convenience store; and a 61-year-old community activist beat to death in his apartment over what many are reporting as a disagreement over marijuana.
It is time for a call to action. We, the community, cannot afford another year of high homicides. It is time for everyone to get together on one accord, residents, politicians and public servants, and figure out a cure to the epidemic that is increasingly getting out of hand. We are losing our future. Instead of ushering our young people into higher education, we are ushering them into graves and jails.
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 six murders, thus far, in 2013—five were Black and four were Black men.