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Shoot Someone In A Major US City, And Odds Are You’ll Get Away With It

“A yearlong investigation by The Trace and BuzzFeed News, based on data obtained from 22 cities, has found that:

  • In cities from coast to coast, the odds that police will solve a shooting are abysmally low and dropping. Homicides and assaults carried out with guns lead to arrests about half as often as when the same crimes are committed using other weapons or physical force.
  • The odds of an arrest are particularly low when victims survive, in part because those crimes tend to be assigned to detectives whose caseloads are exponentially higher compared to their colleagues in the homicide department, who are often overburdened themselves.
  • The chances are even lower if the victims, like Little, are people of color. When a black or Hispanic person is fatally shot, the likelihood that local detectives will catch the culprit is 35% — 18 percentage points fewer than when the victim is white. For gun assaults, the arrest rate is 21% if the victim is black or Hispanic, versus 37% for white victims.
  • By failing to solve so many shootings, police are “missing a potential opportunity to stop cascades of gun violence,” said Andrew Papachristos, a professor of sociology at Northwestern University…”

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