KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to the Kansas City Police Department’s daily homicide analysis, the city has 12 more homicides now than compared to this time in 2011. There are also three more than this time in 2010.
Every year for several years, homicides in Kansas City have topped 100. In 2011, there were 114 and the most were seen in 2008 with 126. Now, in 2012, that number is in jeopardy. In order to avoid the continuing trend, ti’s going to take a community effort from the chief’s office to the streets.
Dewanna O-Guinn is still mourning the loss of her 20-year-old son Ashton.
“He was the apple of my eye, my oldest of three college student fun loving, big heart give his last to whomever needed it,” she said.
On Wednesday night, surrounded by more than 100 relatives and friends, O’Guinn listened as many urged the violence and the silence to stop.
Of the 39 homicides in 2012, 25 victims are black men. Even though many of the cases remain open, Alvin Brooks is confident most of the suspects are also black men. Brooks is angry because the community is not angry.
“If white folks kill us our life is worth something, but if we kill each other, then it ain’t worth nothing? he said. “Understand what I’m saying? Doesn’t that bother you?”
It does bother Dewanna O’Guinn. She’s heard the whispers and seen the looks. Her son had tattoos, he wore dreadlocks, but that was his style. She says that shouldn’t matter.
“But guess what? We had Sunday dinners,” she said. “He was a full time college student, he carried 3.5 GPA. He loved his family, never been in trouble prior to. You can’t just a book by its cover.”
KCPD Chief Darryl Forte wasn’t available to discuss the homicide rate on Wednesday. He said he is concerned about the number of homicides so far and has made an effort to get more officers in the “hot spot” areas and put more detectives on the streets. Two of those detectives were at Wednesday night’s vigil.