Minneapolis murders on the rise: Tracking the data

The Minneapolis murder rate was on the decline in recent years — down from a 10-year peak of 60 murders in 2006 to just 19 in 2009. This year there has been a disconcerting jump. The body count passed that of 2009 by May and stood at 37 by the end of October. 

Worst hit so far has been the 4th Precinct, which covers the city’s north side where 61 percent of this year’s victims were murdered. We’re a long way from the mid-1990s — in those years we were at close to 100 murders per year and even The New York Times used the term “Murderapolis” (in a June 30, 1996, piece, “Nice City’s Nasty Distinction: Murders Soar in Minneapolis”).

I’ll be tracking murders here at The Intelligencer and it begins with the map below, built from a spreadsheet you can download or view in your browser.

As news of new murders comes in, I’ll add them to the spreadsheet and the map. I’ll also be expanding the spreadsheet to include new layers of data.

How you can help
Look over the data yourself. What data would you like to see? What patterns do you notice? What questions should we be asking? I created the map and graph below using Google Fusion Tables. You can create your own visualizations. If you do, share them with us in the comments. And of course, corrections are always welcome.

2010 Minneapolis murders mapped
Click on the red dots for details

2010 Minneapolis murders by cause

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Ray Marshall on 11/05/2010 - 08:43 am.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to track murders by race? They seem to be concentrated on the North and the South sides, making that percentage up towards 90%.

    Sadly, it is probably mostly “black on black.”

  2. Submitted by Garrett Peterson on 11/05/2010 - 10:42 am.

    The murder near Lake Calhoun was on the west side of lake. The dot needs to be moved. You’ve got it on E. Calhoun Pkwy, but it was on W. Calhoun Pkwy.

  3. Submitted by Ed Kohler on 11/05/2010 - 10:47 am.

    Great presentation of the data.

    I don’t know if Fusion Tables support this or not, but it would be awesome to see a city boundary line on the map. I think that would help tell the story of the entire city’s murder rate.

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/05/2010 - 12:38 pm.

    Looking at the pie chart, I feel a lot safer knowing that guns don’t kill people…

  5. Submitted by Douglas Gogerty on 11/05/2010 - 03:49 pm.

    Any thoughts about including Saint Paul?

  6. Submitted by Robert Allen on 11/05/2010 - 05:19 pm.

    The murder numbers, while disconcerting, are not alarming. They are actually below the 10 year average.

    Murder numbers are not, by themselves, a good indicator of violent crime. An aggregate of murders and aggravated assaults is a far more meaningful statistic to judge violent crime in the city.

    This year, fewer people were shot in the city than last year, for example, its just that the shots this year had a higher fatality rate. This year also included a significantly higher number of shootings that have been determined to be “justifiable.”

    Barring an unforeseen spike in homicides between now and the end of the year, this year Minneapolis is likely to have among the fewest homicides of the last 30 years.

    That said, of course, ANY homicide is too many and the incidence of homicide is worthy of in depth study to understand why it occurs at all. THAT is a far more noble journalistic pursuit than simply comparing one year to the last year.

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