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Study: Michigan Ranks 3rd For Number Of Black Residents Murdered

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) - Michigan has been ranked near top of the list in a grim statistic: the numbers of black residents who are slain.

Michigan has the third highest rate of black homicides in the nation, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The VPC reports 35 out of 100,000 black Michigan residents are slain — seven times the national average — and 89 percent of blacks killed in Michigan were victims of gun violence. Nationwide, 84 percent of black homicide victims were killed with guns.

The numbers are based on FBI stats for 2012, when 492 blacks were murdered in the state.

"America's gun violence epidemic affects everyone, but it has a disproportionate impact on black men and women," said VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann in a news release. "Gun violence destroys lives, tears families apart, and traumatizes entire communities — and too many elected officials have ignored this ongoing crisis. It is time for action."

In Michigan, there were 492 black homicide victims in 2012, resulting in a homicide rate of 34.77 per 100,000, according to the VPC.  That year, the national black homicide rate was 18.03 per 100,000, and the overall national homicide rate was 4.50 per 100,000.

This is the ninth year the VPC has released the study, and it's the fifth years in row that Michigan has made the top five.

According to the VPC, this year's "top 10" were as follows:

1. Missouri 34.98
2. Nebraska 34.93
3. Michigan 34.77
4. Pennsylvania 31.02
5. Louisiana 25.75
6. Indiana 25.48
7. Oklahoma 25.04
8. Wisconsin 24.38
9. California 23.25
10. Tennessee 22.40

Cathie Whittenburg, communications director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, is calling on state legislators to address what she says is a national emergency,

"We cannot call ourselves a moral nation yet tolerate losing 6,565 black men and women to homicide in one year," Whittenburg, said.

The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization based in Washington, DC.  Find complete study information HERE.

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