Louisiana has the 10th highest black homicide victimization rate in the nation, according to the Violence Policy Center. VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann says these findings demonstrate that black Louisiana residents are disproportionately impacted by homicide. He says their latest state data goes back to 2014 and there were 332 black homicide victims, resulting in a rate of about 22 per 100,000.

“That’s one and a half times higher than the national black homicide victimization rate and more than five times the overall homicide rate nationwide,” Sugarmann said.

Sugarmann says Louisiana has ranked near or at the top in all 11 years the VPC has conducted this study. The report finds 87 percent of black victims in Louisiana were killed with a firearm, compared to 83 percent nationwide. He says they see similar findings ever year.

“In Louisiana and across the nation, the most common weapon used in a homicide, talking about black homicide victimization, is a gun,” Sugarmann said.

About 84 percent of the victims were male, and the average age for the victims was 31. The report also finds that 80 percent were killed by someone they knew. Sugarmann hopes these results will dispel some of the rumors that blacks are always killed during criminal activity.

“Nearly 60 percent were not related to the commission of another felony. Of these, 52 percent involved an argument between the victim and the offender,” Sugarmann said.