Detroit Justifiable Homicides 25 times the National Average, Murders lowest in 50 years

Editor’s note: This article is being syndicated on GunsAmerica with the permission of its author, Mr. Dean Weingarten.

In 2018, Detroit had 25 times the national average of reported justifiable homicides. The police chief of Detroit, James Craig, supports the residents’ right to self defense. He supports the issuance of concealed carry permits. From

The county’s report shows there were 289 homicides in Detroit in 2018, although the county lists all homicides, whereas Detroit, like most cities, doesn’t include justifiable homicides in its report because those aren’t crimes.

Assistant Detroit Police Chief David LeValley said there were 18 justifiable homicides in the city last year. Including those in the city’s count raises the number of homicides to 279 — 10 fewer than the county reported.

Detroit’s population in 2018 was listed as 672,662. The number of murders in Detroit were listed as 261. This equates to a homicide rate of 38.8 per 100,000 population. It is the second-highest city in the nation. However, the number of murders is considerably lower than they were in 2012, just before Chief Craig took over. The numbers of murders are the lowest in 50 years. The population of Detroit has dropped; thus the rate of murders is still high. The rate was 55.2 per 100,000 in 2012. In 2012, the interim police chief, Chester Logan, blamed the homicide rate on guns.

The rate of reported justifiable homicide in Detroit in 2018, was 2.68 per 100,000. About 6.5% of the homicides in Detroit are reported as justified.

Tucker Carlson noted, on his show, that many people in Detroit are exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Rick Ector, a Second Amendment activist and a firearms instructor, has worked for years to increase the number of women in Detroit who are legally armed.

Homicides in the United States in 2018, from the FBI UCR. 16,214.   The number of justifiable homicides by private citizens was recorded at 353.  The population in the United States was estimated at 327.2 million. The rate of reported justified homicides in the U.S.A. was .108 per 100,000 population. The murder rate in the United States in 2018 was 5.0 per 100,000 population.

SEE ALSO: Underwear Gun Drawn in Detroit Gas Station Shooting

The Detroit rate of recorded justifiable homicides is 25 times the recorded national rate of justified homicides. Detroit’s murder rate is 7.76 time that of the United States. Using the murder rate as a scale, Detroit has recorded 3.2 times as many justifiable homicides per murder, as are recorded in the United States, on average.

The number of murders recorded by the FBI matches those recorded by the police in Detroit for 2018, at 261 murders.

Why are the recorded number of justified homicides in Detroit so far above the national average?

The police chief in Detroit, James Craig, has served there since 2013, for seven years. He has embraced concealed carry and supports armed citizens and their right to self defense.  It is to his benefit, and to the benefit of his department, to accurately collect and identify justifiable homicides.  Justifiable homicides are not recorded as murders in the FBI UCR. But, they are not necessarily counted as justifiable homicides either. The FBI UCR definition of a justifiable homicide is very restrictive. According to two different studies, the FBI UCR only catches about 20% of justifiable homicides.

Award-winning criminologist, Gary Kleck (page 111-114) estimates justifiable homicides are between 7.1 and 12.9 percent of total homicides. Detroit’s figure of 6.5% approaches the lower end of that estimate.

There are probably over 1,600 justifiable homicides a year. 

It is likely Detroit’s police are still missing many justifiable homicides. Most of Detroit’s homicides, about 50%, remain unsolved.  While trust in the Detroit Police is starting to rebuild, there are decades of distrust to overcome. Many of Detroit’s residents, if faced with the potential of walking away from a justifiable homicide, rather than reporting it to police, are likely to do so.

A convicted felon is more likely to be involved in a justifiable homicide than an upright citizen; and far more likely to be reluctant to report it to police.

The minimalist numbers of justifiable homicides are often reported by those who wish for a disarmed population, as evidence that self-defense is rare.

It is evidence the reporting of justifiable homicides is low.

Justifiable homicides, by themselves, are a poor indicator of defensive firearms use. A law-abiding gun owner’s purpose is to prevent injury to himself or others, not to kill offenders.

Justifiable homicides are only those extreme cases where the offender makes such horrible judgments in the victim selection process, that they die as a result.

Justifiable homicides are a tiny percentage of defensive gun uses, probably less than one-tenth of one percent, as several surveys show national defensive gun uses at between 500,000 and three million per year.

©2019 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Rob S November 8, 2019, 11:16 am

    Pretty girl. Knows how to defend herself too.

  • Steve in Detroit November 8, 2019, 10:36 am

    Showing or letting it be known that you are armed in Detroit is a Prevent Defense.

  • Michael November 8, 2019, 7:41 am

    I think the FBI’s UCR should be updated to reflect the Current Times, ie: Shootings! From there, they could then be broken down by Rifle, Pistol; Homicide/Self Defense; Lethal/Survivable, etc. How difficult could that be? We, the American People, should NOT have to try and figure out what the Actual Numbers ARE, or What they represent. It is, after all, OUR TAX DOLLARS! OUR MONEY! Get it together FBI people. Unless, of course, you have a different agenda you are trying to promote/serve. (Side Note: How many of those women/children MURDERED down in Mexico were with YOUR [Eric Holder] FBI Fast and Furious Guns?)

  • SuperG November 6, 2019, 10:24 am

    “A law-abiding gun owner’s purpose is to prevent injury to himself or others, not to kill offenders.” This point is arguable to some. But if you shoot homey and he lives, the odds of him coming back for retribution is high.

    • JD November 8, 2019, 8:51 am

      “A law-abiding gun owner’s purpose is to prevent injury to himself or others, not to kill offenders.”
      Meaning, most people don’t carry to shoot someone, and often the display of the weapon will de-esculate a situation before a shooting occurs. So justifiable homicide doesn’t represent how many times guns are actually used to save people’s lives.

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