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Murder rate of black teens climbing

A report being released today says the murder rate among black teenagers has climbed since 2000, even as murders by young whites have scarcely grown or declined in some places,

» READ MORE: according to

The New York Times.

The story does not break out data for individual cities.

Despite the reduction in murder rates nationally, there is a “worrisome divergence,” between the races, according to James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University who wrote the report, with Marc L. Swatt.

The main racial difference involves juveniles ages 14 to 17. In 2000, 539 white and 851 black juveniles committed murder, according to an analysis of federal data by the authors. In 2007, the number for whites, 547, had barely changed, while that for blacks was 1,142, up 34 percent.

The increase coincided with a rise in the number of murders involving guns, Dr. Fox said. The number of young blacks who were victims of murder also rose in this period.

Murder rates around the country are far below the record highs of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when a crack epidemic spawned violent turf battles.

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