The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America

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Between the 1960s and 1990s the United States saw an increase in violent crime that left Americans fearful and defensive. That’s according to author Barry Latzer in his new book, “The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America”. Latzer tells Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson violent crime has been falling steadily since the ‘90s, but that over the past several months there has been a small counter-trend. An uptick in violence.

I wouldn’t even call it a counter-trend I’d call it a spike,” says Latzer. He says there is no indication the current spike in crime is on track to mimic the 1960s. ”It was an enormous rise [in crime in the ‘60s]… it went up 353% and it doesn’t begin to go down until the crack cocaine epidemic has abated.”

In his book Latzer also looks at the demographics tied to violent crime.

Violent crime is done primarily by males, and primarily by young males,” he says. ”When you have a big explosion in that group, that demographic is a red flag. And we had that in the late ‘60s… In particular I’m interested in how particular groups use violence to resolve conflicts.”

Latzer says southerners in the United States use violence much more often than northerners to resolve conflict. He says historians tie that geographic difference back to white people arriving and settling that portion of the country, and then continued on into the violent legacy of slavery and beyond.

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