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‘It is uniquely bad here’: High cost of gun violence in Louisville mirrored by rising crime

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:31 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville’s gun violence has broken records in recent years, and the previously uncounted costs of the violence are mounting as well, according to an Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods report.

The report, compiled by the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, calculates the costs of police, courts, jails, and hospitals. It also considers the costs of victim support and lost tax revenue, calculating the cost of a single homicide shooting at $900,000, while the cost of a non-fatal shooting is slightly more than $500,000.

If the numbers are accurate, the taxpayer burden for Louisville violence costs so far this year exceeds $394 million.

“It puts into perspective it costs everybody in our city — the violence that’s taking place,” Metro Council President David James (D-District 6) said.

He said that the figures do not account for the victims’ lost lives or contributions.

“Let’s put a number on Trinity Randolph,” former U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman said. “I stood in front of her coffin, her Disney coffin, looked at her beautiful little princess shoes. How do you quantify that? How do you put a price tag on what Dequante Hobbs would have achieved in the world? Or Christian Gwynn? What he would have contributed to this city.”

Coleman, a vocal critic of Louisville’s violence, said the report reaffirms a bloody image of Louisville that the city does not want.

“It is an excuse that — and it is a normalization excuse — that it’s bad all over, is unacceptable,” Coleman said. “It is uniquely bad here.”

Authors of the report say the true financial impact could be even more devastating. The $900,000 homicide is “a conservative estimate, the real cost is likely even higher,” the report said.

Read the full report here.

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