CINCINNATI (AP) -- Homicides in Cincinnati increasingly involve a black victim and a black assailant, a trend that has risen through the decade, a newspaper analysis has found.
The figures have become so troublesome that city council plans a special session Monday night to discuss the topic, which previously has been limited to conversations about economic development or downtown safety.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Sunday (http://cin.ci/JjHLjz ) that since 2005, 86 percent of homicides in which an arrest was made involved black-on-black violence, up from about 75 percent of homicide arrests from 2000 through 2004.
The analysis found eight of 10 homicide victims since 2000 have been black, and finds that all but one of the 66 homicide victims in 2011 was black.
An increasing proportion of homicide victims were black in recent years as well, with the paper's analysis showing they made up 78 percent of homicide victims from 2000 to 2004, with that proportion rising to 84 percent between 2005 and the present.
"The criminals are getting bolder," said Christopher Smitherman, the council member who called for the special session and is also president of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP. "They are shooting at people, not caring who else they might hit, in the middle of the day on residential streets."
Smitherman is one of five black members of the nine-person council, the first in Cincinnati history to have a majority of African-Americans.
Cincinnati also has its first black chief, James Craig, and a black mayor and city manager. The 2010 Census shows that Cincinnati had become a predominantly minority city, with the white population dropping to 48.1 percent, from 53 percent in 2000.
Craig met Thursday with three dozen people, 20 of them black church pastors, who pledged to use their influence to help police and increase their own efforts to reduce violence.
For his part, Councilman Cecil Thomas would like to see $500,000 restored to Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, a program that puts ex-offenders on the streets to use their life experiences as cautionary tales to convince gang members and other criminals to go straight.
Another catalyst for Monday's meeting was the March 20 shooting of Khyren Landrum, a 4-year-old boy caught in suspected gang crossfire and shot while walking home with his mother from a park. He sustained a bone fracture and nerve damage when a bullet his left hip.
"He doesn't want to go outside. He doesn't want to be away from me," said his mother, Aiesha Landrum, 30. "He never said much before. Now he doesn't say anything."
Although it's getting more attention, the issue of black-on-black crime has been analyzed before. In 1995, the Enquirer reported that an African-American in Cincinnati was 10 times more likely to be the victim of another black in a violent crime than of a white.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com