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San Bernardino Is On Track For Its Deadliest Year Since 1995
San Bernardino has been plagued with an increased amount of violence since it was the site of a horrific terrorist attack in December of 2015. And if the violence keeps up, San Bernardino may have the most murders in one year since 1995. According to the L.A. Times, there have been 150 shootings and 47 murders in 2016, and the year isn't over yet. Of those, just over a third have been solved, and those numbers do not include three people who were fatally shot by police. By comparison, 2015 saw 44 total murders, 14 of which occurred on December 2, 2015 when husband-and-wife team Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people and injured 24 others at the Inland Regional Center.
San Bernardino, which has a population of 216,000, has not had such a violent year since 1995, during which there were 67 total murders. If the violent streaks continues as it has been, San Bernardino may end up with about 31 murders per 100,000 people. Comparatively, in 2015, Los Angeles had 7 murders per 100,000 residents while Chicago had 18.
The blame has been shifted in multiple directions. Police Chief Jarrod Burguan points to the early release of some inmates whose crimes were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, while others blame cuts to city services and poor job opportunities. Additionally, half of those killed have been black, which is alarming considering only 14 percent of the population of San Bernardino is black.
San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Burguan told the Times that cuts to the police force means they don't have the resources to investigate every report. Detective Ernest Luna told the Times that in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, "it seemed like everyone loved us, but it's kind of gone back to how it was."
“We cannot only prioritize first responders after violence takes place if we’re not prioritizing preventing violence from taking place in the first place," Luna said.
In May, San Bernardino was named the most dangerous city in California via a report from defense attorney Graham Donath. Donath used data from the FBI, and ranked each city using factors like crime, police presence, poverty, unemployment, population density and education. Stockton came in second, while Modesto ranked third. Los Angeles was 19th. In July, a shooting outside of a liquor store killed two men and a 9-year-old boy. Only yesterday morning, a man was wounded when an unknown attacker shot him in the hip.
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