Cleveland homicide rate up 55% compared to last year

At least 16 homicides have been reported in the last 17 days, according to records.

Cleveland homicide rate up 55% compared to last year
Officers on the scene of a homicide in Cleveland in April (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News Investigates has been tracking homicides in Cleveland and what we have uncovered is alarming.

Cleveland homicide rate up 55% compared to last year

Records show the city’s homicide rate has risen 55% compared to the same time period last year.

At least 16 homicides have been reported in Cleveland the last 17 days, pushing the total number of homicides in 2020 to 62, according to records from the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

That number includes several suspected homicides that have not yet received an official ruling by the Medical Examiner.

In 2019, there were 40 homicides recorded between January 1 and June 8, according to police records.

We reached out the police department and Mayor Frank Jackson’s office to see what they had to say about the staggering number of violent deaths in the city.

Division of Police spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia did not respond to our request for comment and instead only provided the “official homicide numbers," stating there have been 54 homicides to date in 2020 and 38 during the same time period in 2019.

We have not yet received a response from the mayor’s office.

One of the latest homicide victims, Tazhon Greenwood, was a high school senior at Ginn Academy, set to collect his diploma in the coming weeks. The 18-year-old was tragically gunned down on East 108th Street on Saturday.

Like Greenwood, the majority of Cleveland’s homicide victims have been African Americans.

“A grown man is crying, it takes a lot for me to see my people kill each other,” said Jick Hayes, a member of the Black Man Army activist group. “God did not make weapons, he made us to grow, not to take lives."

Al Porter Jr. with Black on Black Crime Inc. has dedicated his life to helping curb violence and uplift those in the community, but his life didn’t start that way.

He has a criminal past.

“I have been on the other side,” said Porter Jr. “Being on the other side, I can understand the pitfalls you face.”

“We have to realize we are our own brothers and sisters, we are our own saviors,” he said.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley called the 55% increase in homicides “alarming.”

“It is something we are taking very seriously,” Kelley said in a phone call on Monday.

The interactive map below shows all of the reported homicides to date in 2020 in Northeast Ohio. Select a marker for detailed information on each homicide case.

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