2016 Homicide rates grew fastest in Louisville, 4 other cities

2016 Homicide rates grew fastest in Louisville, 4 other cities

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An independent analysis of the FBI's 2016 Crime in the United States Report revealed that Louisville's homicide problem is deeper than the numbers suggest.

The Pegasus Institute, a non-partisan public policy think tank, looked at how fast the rate of homicides is growing in other cities and determined Louisville is among the worst.

A statement released by the Institute further explained how Louisville's violent crime rate is helping skew numbers nationally.

"Nationally, the total number of homicides increased for a second straight year," the statement read. "Louisville is one of eight cities in the United States that account for 43% of that increase. All other cities surveyed, which is nearly every municipality in the nation, account for the remaining 57%. Those eight cities were: Chicago, Memphis, San Antonio, Orlando, Louisville, Dallas, Phoenix, and Las Vegas."

Co-Executive Director Joshua Crawford said the statistics read even worse for Louisville when you look at the crime within the old city limits before it merged with Jefferson County.

"That is more deadly than the entire city of Chicago. It's only less lethal than places like St. Louis that have this incredible concentration of violence," Crawford said. "But for the city/county merger, when you look at the old city, we would be the 8th most deadly city in America."

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Chicago, Memphis, San Antonio and Orlando are the only cities where the rate of homicides is rising faster than Louisville's.

Crawford said if you remove the homicides from the Pulse nightclub shooting, Louisville leaps over Orlando to number four.

"There are only a few other cities that have had the kind of increases Louisville had and they're not the kind of cities you want to be bedfellows with when it comes to violent crime," Crawford said. "It demonstrates how unique the level of violence is here in Louisville, compared to other cities across the country.  And it's the second year in a row we've experienced a spike like this. We're in the third year of a trend like this and it's not good at all."

Louisville's homicide rate for 2016 was 5.9%, up from 4.7 in 2015.

Louisville holds only 15% of the state's population but accounts for 46% of the state's homicides.

WAVE 3 News contacted Mayor Greg Fischer's office for comment and did not get a response.

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