Yesterday, the Jersey Journal reported this in one article:
There were 50 homicides in Hudson County in 2005, the most since 1989. Thirty-nine of those homicides happened in Jersey City — the highest city total since 1982.
And this in another article:
Amid the grisly numbers compiled in connection with 2005’s 50 homicides, there is one positive statistic: In 38 of the 50 homicides — 76 percent — investigators believe they’ve “cleared” the case, meaning they have identified the killer. Of those, 29 cases have resulted in the arrest of the person or people investigators say committed the homicide; in seven cases, investigators have issued arrest warrants; in one case, the person accused of the murder committed suicide; and, in this year’s only fatal shooting by police, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office determined it was a justified homicide.
And this to top it all off:
Shooting was the leading cause of homicides in Jersey City, claiming 21 of the 39 victims, or 54 percent; it was followed by stabbing, which claimed 10 victims, or 25 percent. Five were beaten to death, two died in arson fires, and there is one Jersey City victim whose cause of death is unknown.
As a resident of Jersey City for four years these statistics are numbing and disturbing. What is happening to the urban core and why is living here making history in the wrong direction? Over the past year you’ve read Where Babies Go to Die and Six Bucks a Life and Murder in the Jersey City Heights in order to try to give some form to the injustice and to provide some means of communicating via the White Flag of Surrender that the good people of Jersey City have had enough and we need help.
Will there ever be any sustained relief from these kinds of horrific deaths? Identifying the killers of the dead is not enough. How can we stop the killings before the trigger is pulled, before the hand becomes a fist, before the knife becomes a weapon and before the first match is struck?