When many around the world imagine the American Mid-West, they think of white picket fences and golden, homespun values.  We, who grew up in the Middling West, know the brutal reality of the Plains states, and here’s evidence of violence against Blacks in Omaha, Nebraska stretching back to September 29, 1919.

Not much has changed for Blacks in Omaha since 1919.  The city is ghettoized by Race with Black pockets of poverty and hopelessness and a new revelation by the city police department is damning in the obvious attempt to mislead the nation from the fact that Black residents in Nebraska are 18 times more likely to be killed by homicide than a White peer.

Omaha police officials say they are addressing reporting problems that for years have kept Omaha statistics out of the FBI’s detailed homicide database. “We believe this issue has been going on since the 1990s, but we’re aware of it now and it will be corrected in the future,” Deputy Chief Mary Newman said.In addition to the statistics it compiles each year on crimes in cities and states, the FBI puts together the Supplemental Homicide Report. It includes details on murders, including age, sex and race of victims and offenders and types of weapons used.

Omaha police had significant problems in the early 1990s when it sought to computerize its crime statistics. While those problems were resolved, the statistics on homicides the department sent on to the state from that time forward did not include some information the FBI requires for the homicide data.

As a result, the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice did not forward the Omaha statistics on to the FBI. The lack of Omaha data led to a recent national study severely under-ranking the level of black homicides in Nebraska.

Things aren’t getting better in Omaha.

Here’s a recent city snapshot over a five-day period:

A teen gunned down outside a bowling alley.A 15-year-old shot in the face while walking to a bus stop.

A man shot dead inside a home.

A young woman shot in broad daylight, followed by a rolling gunbattle through north Omaha streets.

The surge of violence left three dead and another gravely wounded and heightened the tensions in several Omaha high schools, but more than that, it underscored how Omaha’s streets in recent years have become among the deadliest places in America for blacks.

Fueled by gun violence in northeast Omaha, Nebraska has the third-highest black homicide rate in the nation, according to the latest compilation of detailed national homicide statistics.

How do we stop the death and violence in Omaha?

Do we add more police officers?

Do we crack down on crime by arresting more residents?

Should we pay to send the impoverished and uneducated to school?

Let’s hope the people of Nebraska take to the streets to save their fellow citizens.  The high homicide rate of Blacks in Omaha is a human shame that can never be wiped away, but there must be some way to cure the urge to kill each other.

17 Comments

  1. I’m not sure if more officers would make a difference, Gordon. Lincoln is half as big as Omaha and has 1/4 of the police force Omaha has. Lincoln is, statistically speaking, pretty much crime-free. Move 50 miles to the East, though, and you’re in the national Black Murder Zone.

  2. I guess hatred is learned through behavior and parenting and the only way to break out of that pattern is through opportunity, exploration of new memes, and education. I have to think if more people were in school and actively learning instead of hunting each other on the streets, the communities would flourish instead of founder.

    1. Soo true dave! But the overall big picture is how after the crime, the police doesnt care. They are not ivestigating these killings since the 90s til now. Then they turn around and lie about how many black people are dead. I am 30, and have yet to see a case solved yet from family or friends I have lost to gun violence

  3. I just found this through google, and figured why not give my input on this old post haha! I am a north omaha resident myself, and I feel that the amount of police I see in my neighborhood makes it feel more like a warzone than my home, it’s scary honestly and more police is not the answer. The solution to the problem facing my generation isn’t school alone, and I could go on for days about the things I would like to see change. However at its simplest, I feel that people need to start standing up for themselves and their community. We have become so apathetic that when police murder a man in broad day light we simply shut ourselves in and tell ourselves they were in the right. I mean hell, every night I see a pig flash his lights to run a stop light, the corruption is running so deep. I wish there were a police watch group in omaha, or at least a group of people willing to put in the work.

    Kind of long winded sorry. I just have a lot on my mind, and feel like I am going crazy sometimes. Keep your head up, David.

    1. Omaha is definitely a fascinating city, Andrew. There are pockets of tremendous wealth close to desperate niches of ghetto despair. One day soon, that incongruity between unequal socio-economic neighborhoods will fester and burst into mainstream neighborhoods of the majority power.