Welcome to the Leon County “Anatomy of a Homicide Project.” Named for the Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon, the county is home to the capital of Florida, Tallahassee. It’s 63 percent white and 30 percent black. But this report is a reminder of what happens when a government agency reports the truth on who is actually committing gun crime in the community they serve and protect.
For Leon County, it’s simply the blacks:
Summary of Findings
Although it is acknowledged that the findings in this report are not without limitations, the available data indicates that the homicide problem in Leon County is not unique compared to other areas. A summary of detailed findings and data visualizations are contained in an appendix and are available upon request.
1. Homicides predominantly occur in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and most victims and offenders reside within these same areas.
• The 32304 zip code was the most adversely impacted zip code in Leon County. While comprising only 17 percent of Leon County’s population, 32304 had the highest homicide frequency with 35 percent of the total sample.
• Additionally, 24 percent of victims and 12.3 percent of offenders resided in the 32304 zip code at the time of the homicide. • Griffin Heights and Frenchtown had the highest density per square mile (8.3 – 15), followed by South City and Bond & Providence neighborhoods (7.4 – 8.3). Apalachee Ridge and Jake Gaither communities had a density of 5.7 – 7.4 incidents per square mile and Chapel Ridge neighborhood was close behind at 5.4 – 5.7.
2. The majority of homicides are committed with firearms, which in many cases are not legally owned.
• A firearm of some kind was used in 76 percent of homicides within the sample. A firearm was used three (3) times as often as all other weapon types combined.
• Black males used firearms in 79 percent of the homicides they committed, compared to white males at 45 percent. • The firearm was not legally owned in at least 35 percent (27 of 78) of the cases where a firearm was used.
3. Many homicides are committed in the commission of another crime such as a robbery, drug deal, or theft. • Thirty-three (33) percent of homicides were committed in conjunction with another crime (robbery, drug deal, theft, etc.). Sixteen (16) percent of cases noted that the homicide occurred during the commission of a robbery.
4. Victims and offenders are overwhelmingly young Black males.
• Eighty-one (81) of 108 total victims were Black which is over 4 times greater than the number of white victims (25). This is significantly disproportionate to the racial composition of Leon County which is approximately 61 percent white and 32 percent Black. Only two victims were of other races.
• Eighty-six (86) of 125 offenders were Black, while 21 were white. Race was unknown for 18 offenders. Black males represented 67 percent of offenders which is almost five (5) times more than white males.
• The 15-24 age group was the highest for both victims and offenders. Forty-two (42) percent of victims and 35 percent of offenders fell within this age group.
5. The majority of homicide offenders have previous criminal histories, often violent. Most had committed crimes as juveniles.
• Eighty-four (84) percent of offenders and 52 percent of victims had previous criminal charges, with 58 percent of offenders and 28 percent of victims having one (1) or more previous charges for a violent crime.
• Thirty-five (35) percent of offenders and 14 percent of victims had one (1) or more previous firearm-related charges.
Working Together to Make Leon County Safer…
Well, let’s be honest about who is making Leon County unsafe: blacks.
69 percent of homicide offenders in the 63 percent white Leon County are black. With 14 percent of the race of homicide offenders being unknown, it’s potentially close to 83 percent of homicides in the county being committed by blacks.
Why doesn’t every police department in America put out a report like this, helping showcase with raw numbers who exactly is behind the violence in the community they are tasked with protecting?
Because once we realize blacks commit a disproportionate amount of violence in communities across America, like in Leon County, we can craft policies that actually make our communities safer. That, of course, means realizing those architects behind both Jim Crow laws and those far-thinking members of the American Colonization Society had it right.